Business analysis and SOA part 1 of 6: The benefits of business services [by Thomas Erl]

转载 2006年06月01日 15:20:00

This is the first article in a six-part series dedicated to exploring how SOA and service-orientation relate to and affect business analysis processes and approaches. Acclaimed author Thomas Erl shares his insights into the world of service-oriented business analysis and business service modeling by providing customized excerpts from his second SOA book "Service-Oriented Architecture: Concepts, Technology, and Design", supplemented with additional commentary.

Many still resist – or are even unaware of – the benefits of introducing service-orientation into the domain of business analysis. It is easy to ignore service-oriented business modeling and simply focus on service-orientation as it applies to technology and technical architecture. That, however, is missing the point of SOA. The architectural model established by SOA and further defined by the common principles of service-orientation provides the very real potential to finally unite the business and automation domains of an enterprise. To accomplish this, though, requires that organizations take the time to model and build services that encapsulate and express business logic in an accurate and extensible manner.

The creation of business services are therefore becoming the focal point of many contemporary SOA initiatives. They require the collaboration of business analysis and technology architecture expertise and introduce new requirements, roles, and processes to traditional development project lifecycles. In this six-part series we'll be exploring business services and discussing some of the more important aspects of how SOA and service-orientation relate to and augment traditional business analysis approaches. In this first installment we provide a brief overview of some of the tangible benefits associated with creating business services in support of building business-centric SOA.

Business Services can Increase Organizational Agility

Service-orientation brings to business analysis a manner in which to structure automated business logic that can significantly improve the flexibility and agility with which that logic can be re-modeled in response to change. This is accomplished through the use of well-defined business services that establish a highly responsive environment by grouping functionality within specific business contexts. Such an environment is responsive in that changes to business requirements or business processes can, to a large extent, be efficiently accommodated through the re-composition of these services.

This level of organizational agility typically requires the creation of a business service layer, a coordinated collection of business services that introduce the concept of service layer abstraction by establishing a loose coupling between the business and automation domains of an enterprise.

Business Services Leverage Orchestration

Orchestration provides an automation model where business process logic is centralized yet still extensible and composable. Through the use of orchestrations, service-oriented solution environments become inherently adaptive and, when combined with well-defined business services, their use can further lead to significant business agility improvements.

In the Web services world, business processes implemented as orchestrations can be expressed through service composition languages, such as WS-BPEL. By abstracting business process logic, highly agnostic business services (agnostic in that they do not need to contain logic associated with any one business process) can be created and shared across multiple orchestrations.

Furthermore, the process logic within an orchestration can also be expressed as a service and composed as part of larger service compositions. This introduces a specific type of business-related service model, commonly known as the process service. The automation landscape created by the use of process services and other forms of (non-orchestration) business services establishes a composition environment in which automated business logic is intelligently partitioned, loosely coupled, and highly adaptive.

Business Services Enable Reuse

By modeling business logic as distinct services with explicit boundaries, opportunities for business services to be created within an agnostic (reusable) context become available. For example business services can be designed to encapsulate logic associated with a specific business entity within an enterprise (such as "invoice" or "claim").

Further, by taking the time to properly align business models with business service representation, the resulting business service layer ends up freeing non-business or application services from assuming task or activity-specific processing functions. This allows application services to be positioned as and to evolve into pure, reusable units of automation logic that can support a variety business services across solution boundaries. (Examples of functionality encapsulated by application services include exception handling, event logging, notification, etc.)

As we will emphasize later in this series, establishing an environment that fosters the creation of agnostic (business and non-business) services is key to attaining some of the primary benefits of SOA.

Only Business Services can Realize the Service-Oriented Enterprise

Business service modeling marries the principles of service-orientation with an organization's business models. The process of modeling business services forces the organization to view and reinterpret business knowledge in a service-oriented manner. The resulting perspective can clearly express how services relate to and embody the fulfillment of business requirements.

Though the business service layer may accurately represent a corporate business model upon implementation, it will become outdated once new and revised business requirements emerge. As long as it is kept in relative alignment with the current state of business models, it will continue to serve as a valuable view of the enterprise. Valuable because it does not exist in abstract, but in an implemented and operational form.

What's Next

Now that we've touched on some of the reasons so many organizations are going through the trouble of investing in the creation of business services, we need to explain what exactly business services are and how they can be derived from existing types of business logic documentation, as well as provide some best practices and approaches to building them. In part 2 of this series we'll continue by examining common business service models and discussing how they are typically defined and utilized.

This article contains excerpts from "Service-Oriented Architecture: Concepts, Technology, and Design" by Thomas Erl (792 pages, Hardcover, ISBN: 0131858580, Prentice Hall/Pearson PTR, Copyright 2006). For more information, visit

Business analysis and SOA part 2 of 6: Business service models and the entity-centric business service [by Thomas Erl]

 As part of the design of service-oriented solutions it is common to label individual services accor...
  • Xalloy
  • Xalloy
  • 2006年06月01日 15:23
  • 1243

Business analysis and SOA part 3 of 6: Process-centric business services [by Thomas Erl]

 In the previous article we described the role of service models and explored the design standards f...
  • Xalloy
  • Xalloy
  • 2006年06月01日 15:24
  • 1504

BABOK(Business Analysis Body of Knowledge)阅读笔记(二) Introduction

在这一章节的介绍中,BABOK对"What is Business Analysis"做了一个权威的定义:"Business analysis is the set of tasks and tech...
  • bruesz
  • bruesz
  • 2009年07月20日 17:29
  • 2202

BABOK(Business Analysis Body of Knowledge)阅读笔记(三) Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring

本阶段Business Analyst应该干的活:identify stakeholdersdefine roles and responsibilitiesdevelops estimates fo...
  • bruesz
  • bruesz
  • 2009年07月22日 14:42
  • 1125

Business analysis and SOA part 4 of 6: SOA delivery lifecycle and the top-down approach [by Thomas Erl]

 Development projects for service-oriented solutions are, on the surface, much like any other custom...
  • Xalloy
  • Xalloy
  • 2006年06月01日 15:27
  • 1726


  • a82793510
  • a82793510
  • 2016年06月21日 23:37
  • 1680


业务分析BA逐渐成为当前一个热门领域,未来10年,多数公司对于BA人才和技能有持续旺盛的需求。目前有两个常见的考试认证CBAP和PMI-PBA, 下面对比介绍CBAP和PBA,供广大学友和考生参考。可...
  • crimosn7
  • crimosn7
  • 2016年08月09日 13:35
  • 953

Business Analysis note part 1

The data that we might be tracking :such as : marketing activities,competitive information,macro eco...
  • qq_32424029
  • qq_32424029
  • 2016年07月01日 19:03
  • 139

Skype for Business+企业通讯录+Outlook 三位一体是一种什么样的体验?

以前只知道Skype for Business 是微软的一款强大企业即时通讯软件,那最新火爆的Club Skype for Business 又是什么产品呢?本文就来对这款产品做一个初步用户体验。...
  • Microsoft_ClubSkype
  • Microsoft_ClubSkype
  • 2017年08月17日 10:27
  • 522

SAP GUI 7.10 Business Explorer Analyzer toolbar

      If you are deploying SAP GUI 7.10 with Business Explorer component the Analyzer toolbar may no...
  • jamesxsy
  • jamesxsy
  • 2009年10月27日 10:40
  • 2169
您举报文章:Business analysis and SOA part 1 of 6: The benefits of business services [by Thomas Erl]