Levi, Ray, & Shoup Inc.: Rewriting Business Applications in a Service-Oriented Fashion

Founded in 1979, Levi, Ray, & Shoup (LRS) originally focused on Enterprise Output Management (EOM) solutions that take output from MVS mainframes and route it to network attached printers. The company quickly expanded to produce solutions for state and local pension funds. Given the long history of the company’s offerings, the product has gone through a few revisions, first coded for mainframe operation, and later modified it for client/server, desktop OS, and then Web-based operation.

However, all this modification resulted in code that was frequently customized and “forked” for the benefit of individual customer requirements, resulting in overly-complex application logic, expensive customization, and inability to repurpose the application for new interfaces or other purposes. As such, the company decided in 2004 to take the bold and courageous move to completely rewrite their business application from scratch in a Service-oriented fashion. With SOA, LRS now has a way to truly configure the last 20% of the application in a way that can be done with low initial cost, fast time to market, and low total cost of ownership. As a result, the company realized significant benefits from their agile architecture approach — lessons that all developers of business applications can learn from.

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