SOA Tools & Best Practices

From its inception through 2002, the primary application for Web Services in the enterprise was to simplify point-to-point integration between systems, thereby reducing the cost of integration. This application of Web Services, however, only scratches the surface of the true potential of Web Services — enabling companies to build agile business processes and IT systems that can respond to change through the use of loosely coupled, standards-based Service-oriented architectures.

The business value of such architectures in terms of the business agility they provide is substantial, but as of early 2003, only a few early adopter enterprises have built such architectures, partly because few tools for building Service-oriented architectures are available on the market, and furthermore, there is little understanding of the best practices companies should follow to build such architectures. This report seeks to clarify the requirements for realizing the value of Web Services by providing a set of emerging best practices as well as an analysis of the tools that are currently available for building Service-oriented architectures.

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