At SAP we have the Enterprise Architecture Framework, which is an important piece in the methodology puzzle and it can clearly play a substantial role within an SOA strategy of a company. But is it all? Let’s have a look at it in more detail.
What is actually a methodology for enterprise SOA? Enterprise SOA is a concept but also the foundation for a development paradigm and has many other facets. Like other major vendors SAP has its own flavor of SOA strategy and vision for customers. Any methodological approach will need to consider all this and reflect respective boundary conditions.
SAP’s strategy has a strong focus on making SOA affordable, realistic and bringing it down to earth by
- Providing ready to run enterprise services in a platform, which consist not only of technology but also of business content
- Supporting an evolutionary approach towards enterprise SOA. Customers can run their existing assets (business applications) in parallel with innovative new service based applications on top.
To help customers and to support the vision and strategy, SAP has developed a roadmap, which covers the most important steps in the “journey” towards establishing enterprise SOA on top of a business process platform. This roadmap is called “methodology for accelerated transformation to enterprise SOA” and includes details for the various waypoints along the journey. The methodology is targeted for
- Those driving, planning or executing an evolution of a company towards enterprise SOA
- SAP Customers, Partners, and Field Services
The methodology consolidates various silo-oriented methods into one end-to-end procedural approach. It covers all aspects of an enterprise SOA transformation, starting with the high level strategy planning down to the implementation of service-based solutions and distinct enterprise services. The content is based on practical project experiences and consolidates the insights of more than 20 high-profile topic experts from SAP field and development organizations.
The first version of the methodology is Methodology for Accelerated Transformation to SOA. It is helpful to understand the main principles of SAP’s vision. It already helps to avoid severe project failures and to receive guidelines for planning and execution of an enterprise SOA transformation program. It covers best practices, key aspects and pitfalls to avoid. This is only an initial version of the methodology and upcoming updates will contain community feedback and more details in templates and sample deliverables.
The methodology distinguishes the fundamental adoption phases “Transformation Planning”, “Platform/Governance Implementation”, “Service Based Solutions Implementation” and “Platform/Solutions Operations” within the overall transition to an enterprise SOA based system landscape.
These phases do not have to be processed in a strict sequence though. Companies might parallelize activities, set distinct priorities or even choose different entry points while following various adoption patterns.
The following illustration will provide you an overview of the main building blocks of the methodology:
Looking at the upcoming SAP products for flexible orchestration of business processes and Business Process Management the next version of the methodology will have even more topics to cover.