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Great Architects

Language: English Quality: High Has Audio: true Source: Other Media: PDF Posted On: 18 Jun 09

Welcome to the summer issue of JOURNAL. These last few months have been really exciting for architecture as a topic at Microsoft. The Microsoft Architecture Center has become established as a leading portal for architectural content and a springboard for thousands of our customers and partners to dive into excellent guidance on architecting and developing solutions on the Microsoft Windows platform.

This issue has an abundance of architectural gems written by respected architects from Microsoft and valued partners, and I'm confident that it has raised the level of content quality to a higher level.

We start with a paper by Don Awalt and Rick McUmber of RDA Corporation, also members of the Microsoft Architecture Advisory Board, who reveal many secrets of great architects. They tackle a very hard problem faced daily by Enterprise architects, namely, the challenge of high complexity in systems development, which is compounded by ever-changing needs of the business and pressure to adopt new technologies as they emerge. The key secret of great architects they reveal begins with a mastery of solution conceptualization and abstraction. The way in which the authors have dissected the problem and provided an exemplary walkthrough of the solution process is evidence itself of such mastery.

Jack Greenfield from Microsoft's Enterprise Frameworks and Tools division discusses in his article important new thinking on a critical business imperative troubling many organizations today—how to scale up software development? As currently practiced, software development is slow, expensive and error prone, and results in a multitude of well-known problems. Despite these shortcomings, the 'products' of software development obviously provide significant value to consumers, as shown by a long term trend of increasing demand. To address these shortcomings a case is made for a 'Software Factories' methodology to industrialize the development of software, which is described in detail in a forthcoming book of the same name by Jack Greenfield and Keith Short, from John Wiley and Sons.

Feedback from customers to Microsoft on the challenges of implementing SOA systems has been very consistent; issues in managing identities, aggregating data, managing services, and integrating business processes have been cited over and over again as major road blocks to realizing more efficient and agile organizations. Frederick Chong from the Architecture Strategy team in Microsoft writes a paper on one of these challenges, namely Identity and Access Management. He provides a succinct and comprehensive overview of what I&AM means using a simple framework consisting of three key areas: identity life cycle management, access management, and directory services.

Microsoft's Philip Teale and Robert Jarvis of SA Ltd. follow with the second part of their paper discussing business patterns, which are essentially architectural templates for business solutions. In this paper they describe how to develop business patterns based on business functions, data, and business components, and also show how these elements can be used to engineer software systems. A realistic but simplified example is used to show how to use standard techniques to develop descriptions of these elements required for a business pattern.

Next, Easwaran Nadhan and Jay-Louise Weldon, both from EDS, examine various data transfer strategies for the enterprise, which enable timely access to the right information and data sharing such that business processes can be effective across the enterprise. They describe eight options and analyze those using criteria, such as data latency requirements, transformation needs, data volume considerations, and constraints regarding the level of intrusion and effort that can be tolerated by an enterprise in order to realize the expected benefits.

The final paper is part two of Soumen Chatterjee's description of SOA messaging patterns. Traditionally messaging patterns have been applied to enterprise application integration solutions. Soumen uses these patterns to explain how SOA can be implemented. His insights are derived from the original work of Hohpe and Woolf's book on Enterprise Integration Patterns. However, Soumen shows us how the same messaging patterns described in the book can be applied equally effectively at the application architecture level, especially in SOA-based solutions, because they too are fundamentally message-oriented.


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Created : 2004-06-01      Format : PDF