What are Reference Architectures?

Greece Islands - September 2013

This is not a blog post about an emerging technology or a hot off the press IT trend, but just some notes about one of the pillars of every successful architecture work: Reference Architectures. This one explains what reference architectures are and why and how they are used in solution architectures.
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Learning magic from the “real” architects

Florence - September 2014

Designing something from an idea or as in many cases from a problem that needs to be solved is surely an exciting but not always an easy  process. We architects have to make sure we design the best possible solution meeting all the business requirements while adhering to global and organisational design best practices. One challenge we commonly face is incompletely or ambiguously expressed requirements which turns the analysis process into solving a rubik’s cube problem while skydiving. Furthermore, as we architects are mostly the middleman between business teams and technology units, we have to carefully manage the perceptions and expectations while using the relevant language to our audience. And we have to do all of these within a deadline and a budget while ensuring enough level of security and compliance, performance and fault tolerance etc.

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The Return of the Digital

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As the world history repeats itself, we also see the technology repeating itself in various ways. I remember presenting an über cool, AJAX-based application development solution to customers back in 2006. I was telling how it was different to traditional web applications that it was just updating the fragments on the UI not reloading the whole page. One day in a customer demo, a veteran developer said “We had this in 80s in mainframe terminal screens and it wasn’t a big deal!” Well, it wouldn’t be a big deal for the web era as well, if HTTP was initially designed for running applications not just for document exchange but that’s another story (seriously, isn’t it surprising that young developers don’t question why there is such thing as JavaScript but start learning AngularJS straight away?).

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Implementing Disruptive Technologies: 8 Lessons Learned from SOA

It is true that SOA has lost a lot of its steam now and the craze of SOA has been overtaken by the charms of new disruptive digital forces namely cloud, big data, social business and mobility. As with every emerging technology climbing up to the peak of the hype cycle, those digital forces are fully loaded with promises and expectations but it is only a matter of time that they will crash into the harsh wall of reality. This story is not new, and has also shown itself in the “SOA is the savior” era. The goal of this blog is to remember that story once again and come up with a list of lessons learned, which might hopefully guide architects and implementers of the new digital forces.

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Monitoring SOA Critical Success Factors

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Apart from tracking dependencies between SOA elements and managing the service life cycle, one of the indispensable tasks of SOA Governance is to control and manage SOA success. Successful implementation of a service architecture can be measured via certain indicators, also known as the Critical Success Factors (CSF). Every SOA adoption initiative should incorporate a step, ideally right before the architecture blueprinting phase, where unique success factors regarding the adoption are defined. This step should also outline the tools and techniques to be used in monitoring the success factors and together they should form the CSF Specification. CSF Specification could also be refined and improved throughout the adoption process to conform with common Enterprise Architecture(EA) practices.

Below, you can see a list of generic SOA CSF, with hints on how they can be monitored with SOA Governance:
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