By David Dorf on Apr 07, 2009
There are two strategies for leading SOA initiatives. When IT drives the strategy, SOA is typically used as an integration tool, making products work together with minimal coupling. When the initiative is driven by the business, SOA becomes an enabler for agility, allowing greater flexibility for the processes. Both approaches are fine, but I think the most value comes when everything is derived from business processes.
The business-process approach is more top-down, and therefore requires much more up-front work to document the details of the business processes. But the end result produces highly valuable data objects, services, and events that enable the processes. Most retailers want to be given a base, best-practice process that they can tailor. This allows them the freedom to innovate and differentiate from their competitors.
That's generally the approach that Oracle takes with its Application Integration Architecture (AIA). The AIA process produces Foundation Packs that contain the data objects, services, and events necessary to create processes. These are great for implementation partners and retailers that want to develop their own business processes. The Process Integration Packs (PIPs) take it a step further by including the implementation of one or more related business processes. PIPs include all the tech and application patches necessary to make the processes work out-of-the-box.
There was a press release yesterday that announced more Foundation Packs and PIPs along with the following quote:
Oracle knows that the accelerated delivery of more Oracle Application Integration Architecture products is critical to our customers’ need to innovate cost effectively while reducing the time to deploy end to end composite business processes,” said Oracle Vice President of Application Development and Product Strategy for AIA Jose Lazares. “The releases of Oracle AIA Foundation Pack 2.3, Oracle AIA Foundation Pack for Communications and six new Oracle AIA Process Integration Packs provide even further advantage for the enterprise to quickly define a given business process and then rapidly deploy a standardized composite business application that can evolve as business needs demand it.
It took a while to gear up, but these process-based integrations are gathering momentum, including the release of a new one for retail that provides Financial Operations Control.