Q
Evaluate Weigh the pros and cons of technologies, products and projects you are considering.

What factors make a Web services solution more appropriate in the enterprise?

We are looking at some internal projects that definitely need EAI but may not need Web services. What factors do you feel might make a Web services-based solution more appropriate within the enterprise?
The answer has many parts, including:
* Requirement Patterns
* Solution Patterns
* Changing Enabling Technology

The fact of the matter is that many inter- and intra- enterprise problem domains don't need service level access to applications; information exchange is good enough, if not desirable. Moreover, most organizations don't have application integration strategies. These organizations need to first get their own house under control, determine their integration requirements, create a plan, and then select the correct approach to application integration and matching technology. Simply jumping to Web services without understanding the business requirements could be disastrous in the end, and worse yet, could cause the organization to miss strategic opportunities.

Those organizations that require Web services have a need to access both information and application services that exist in local and remote information systems. Typically, these problem domains have the following characteristics:
* There are redundant application services that exist at two or more systems.
* There is a need to create a new application that satisfies a business need, but is also able to leverage aggregated application services from remote systems.
* The information residing within the source or target system is of significantly less value when decoupled from the services.

When applying Web services technology to solve application integration problems there are patterns or architectures to consider as well. For our purposes we can call them:
* Event-Driven
* Composite
* Autonomous-Distributed

It's also correct to consider these solution patterns as an evolution of the Web services integration technology over time, as well as options. Event-driven Web services solutions refer to those architectures that deal more with information movement than application service aggregation. Data moves from system to system in support of a particular business transaction, but there is also a requirement to access application services as well. For instance, moving order information from system to system and company to company to support the purchase of a car, employing a common Web service to calculate logistics information, sharable by all source and target systems. This is a hybrid architecture that mixes both Web services and traditional application integration technology, such as integration servers. Composite application solutions refer to architectures that require many application services to aggregate into a single instance of an application.

Click for part 2 of this answer.


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