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  1. 1. A STRATEGY PAPER FROM SERVICE-ORIENTED ARCHITECTURE: Making Collaborative Government Work A natural synergy for service-oriented governments committed to doing the public’s business
  2. 2. Service-Oriented Architecture SERVICE-ORIENTED ARCHITECTURE: MAKING COLLABORATIVE GOVERNMENT WORK “SERVICE IS GOVERNMENT’S ONLY BUSINESS. SOA SHOULD BE ITS ARCHITECTURE.” — PAUL W. TAYLOR, CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER, CENTER FOR DIGITAL GOVERNMENT Introduction In 1918, the Spanish flu pandemic began inauspi- time remains unproven, the capacity of gov- In a world of growing complexity and compet- ciously. It caused a form of viral pneumonia that ernment to detect, monitor and respond to ing demands, government needs to go beyond resulted in “extensive hemorrhaging of the lungs events is at levels that would have been a patchwork quilt of custom interfaces among that could kill the perfectly fit within 48 hours or unimaginable just a few short years ago. Much systems that have nothing in common and less.” Before the pandemic had run its course, of that capacity relies on digital technologies develop a modern architecture that is strong, over 40 million people were dead in less than a which began doing the heavy lifting of govern- stable and comparatively simple. Enter Service- single year.1 It was a global disaster and the most ment one half century ago. This paper propos- oriented Architecture (SOA). If SOA holds the deadly human plague of the 20th century. es a more optimistic view of the capability of promise for stopping future pandemics in their government to more effectively serve the peo- tracks, imagine what it can do for the huge vol- The 21st century comes with its own chal- ple through the adoption of a more fully ume of routine transactions between govern- lenges, including the threat of new pandemics. evolved architecture — one that, as its name ment and the citizens and businesses they serve. Fortunately, new technologies have brought suggests, is service-oriented. To be sure, with them the hope of a brighter future. Service-oriented Architecture is well suited to the myriad of transactions between citizens Although the ability of governments to effec- and their government, but an integrated future tively stem pandemics and other threats over holds much greater promise than that. Imagining Government Service Delivery: A Future Where SOA Helps the Internet Keep its Transformational Promise Imagine for a moment a world 100 years after sures and other threats. Of course most health 500 individuals worldwide in the last three the devastation of 1918. In 2018, due to the incidents are routine, therefore “system noise” years — a remarkable effort in coordination ongoing threat of global pandemics, informa- has been counteracted by powerful stream supported by the modern syndromic sense tion about illnesses and diseases is immediate- filters that matured in 2010. Since that time the and response systems.2 ly transmitted by all government, health care, stream filters have been deployed to cull prior- public safety and transportation authorities to ity alerts from alerts of negligible consequence. What once was science fiction can now be the Global Alerts, a consolidated real-time data Testing, treatment, quarantine and release new reality of government service delivery in stream of events affecting localities, states, teams can be immediately dispatched to help leading jurisdictions. The SOA experience regions, continents and the entire world. In prevent outbreaks and avert crises. points to the potential of transformation for that way, worldwide Departments of Disease those governments that join the journey Control and Prevention and local health, trans- Since the deployment of the Global Alerts toward a re-architected future. portation and public safety authorities can Stream in 2015, serious viral or genetic infec- receive real-time updates on potential expo- tions have been transmitted to no more than 2
  3. 3. A Strategy Paper from THE CENTER FOR DIGITAL GOVERNMENT Making the Case for SOA The previous scenario describes a level of data leaning government leaders look for in their tool services in ways that are network-aware, integration and communication that is not only set as they strive to meet public expectations and reusable and “available to other participants in possible but likely — and necessary — if gov- build trust with citizens they help protect. the network as independent services that the ernments take advantage of the modern participants access in a standardized way.”3 approaches and tools available. In doing so, One promising approach that governments are government can build the future into informa- beginning to imagine and act upon is called This paper explains why service-oriented gov- tion technology planning. Yet government faces Service-oriented Architecture (SOA). A more ernment is the right approach at the right time twin challenges to achieve such a goal — infi- detailed treatment of this topic will follow but for government today to enable collaboration nite demand for services and finite resources to briefly stated: SOA is an approach more widely among government, industry, and the public. provide those services. The delivery of servic- adopted to date in the private sector; one that Service-oriented government also presents a es at the scale needed by government requires is improving collaboration between customers, way to increase output of services while keep- information technology. suppliers and trading partners in a way that ing labor the same or at a decreased level to wrings inefficiencies and costs from business help handle the upcoming job migration as Government can no longer justify unnecessary transactions. As the SOA concept moves away government workers move toward retire- duplication of infrastructure that could otherwise from machine room consciousness and moves ment. Finally, SOA and an implementation be shared. Nor can it afford to build tomorrow’s toward mainstream consciousness via execu- known as Web services is the approach that stovepipe systems today. Governments confront tive directors’ offices, government is in an ideal will help provide the blueprint and the tools to some hard choices: continue to approach and circumstance to adopt the SOA approach. spark greater data integration that can lead to a service button-downed, hard-coded, hardwired renaissance of government modernization. IT systems of today — or seize new approaches As a framework, SOA provides patterns for and tools that are “agile,” “nimble,” “flexible,” and design, development, deployment and man- “adaptive.” These are the descriptors forward- agement of IT services that support public “The Flowers and the Bees”of Service-Oriented Architecture and Web Services Service-oriented Architecture (SOA) will have provider or producer. An organization choos- readily available. For example, in 2004 the a revolutionary impact on the field of informa- ing to adopt a SOA approach would promote State of Utah re-designed its payment engine tion technology and by extension, any place IT using information technology to automate the as a Web service based on a new architecture. touches. This space is one in which IT consumption and provision of services over Instead of the logic and process of making a becomes more embedded each day in the the Web. In fact, it is the Internet and the payment for a business license or a motor drive toward ubiquity or universal “intelligence Web’s very existence that has allowed SOA vehicle license being a tightly integrated part of in everything.” In this emerging environment, concepts to flourish and take hold. In the soft- each new transaction-based application, this SOA also requires re-thinking about how soft- ware world, a consumer of a service (in this reusable component was made to operate as ware is designed and subsequently, where and case a Web Service) is often a software appli- an independent service that could be used by how it is deployed. cation. The provider or producer relies on multiple applications. This service reduced another piece of software as its agent (the Web timelines for integration from months to one To better grasp the concept of SOA, it is service), that the application uses to do a dis- week. The relationship between a software important to first understand that it is not a crete piece of work. application and a Web service is described in IT technology. Instead, it is a way of thinking about jargon as being “loosely coupled,” as opposed service (not technology) that becomes clear as The beauty of a Web service is like that of a to “tightly integrated.” it is broken down into components. For exam- flower: it can attract a multitude of sometimes ple, in government, “food assistance” for the “unintended suitors” — that is, software appli- poor is a service or program. Providing a hunt- cations or consumers. Web services increase in ing, fishing or driver’s license to a citizen is also value when reused and increase in value a service – in this case, a regulatory service. through the power of Extensible Mark-up Typically a service has a consumer and a Language (XML), which makes Web services 3
  4. 4. Service-Oriented Architecture Definitions XML is the New Lingua Franca XML Wikipedia accurately describes XML as a World Wide Unlike most humans under most circum- consumer of the citizen directory Web service. Web Consortium (W3C) “recommended general- stances, computer hardware and software do The data that existed with this particular service purpose markup language for creating special-purpose not handle ambiguity particularly well. For would not need to be re-collected nor perma- markup languages, capable of describing many different example, they do not do a very good job of nently stored by multiple applications. This Web kinds of data.” It permits the sharing of data “across looking at a series of pictures of a home for sale service could also allow for the implementation of different systems; particularly systems connected via the and picking which is the best representation or a “single sign on” for citizens where their roles, Internet…Programs can modify and validate documents at least the most appealing representation of needs and preferences are matched with appro- in these languages without prior knowledge of their form.” the property being sold.4 For computers to talk priate access controls. to one another and understand what is being Service-oriented Architecture SOA is “an architectural style whose goal is to achieve said, certain linguistic standards must be applied A citizen directory that is implemented with iden- loose coupling among interacting software agents. A for the communication to yield the expected tity management can improve efficiency and service is a unit of work done by a service provider to result. In this case the lingua franca of SOA and address many security issues related to applica- achieve desired end results for a service consumer. Both of Web services is XML. tions and the integrity of transactions. A payment provider and consumer are roles played by software gateway implemented as a Web service could also agents (computer programs) on behalf of their owners.” To illustrate the point, it is useful to return to the handle all credit card and Automated Clearing services mentioned in the SOA description — House (ACH) transactions for state and local gov- Although the definition of SOA may apply to many services, namely, hunting and fishing licenses and food ernments and universities. a Service-Oriented architecture as described here is a design assistance for the poor. In a world before Web that allows for the coordination and use of a collection of services, an application for any of those services These examples demonstrate a primary reason Web services. Another way of looking at it is that SOAs would typically ask for the information for each that Web services are useful: instead of tight inte- provide a “unified service infrastructure, which is composed service, causing duplicative data entry by the citi- gration they provide “a very loose coupling of several services applications.”6 Information technology zen and duplicative processing of that informa- between an application that uses the Web service architects believe that SOAs help organizations respond tion by multiple applications. As cases or licenses and the Web service itself.” This allows either more rapidly and cost-effectively to changing conditions by come up for renewal, the pre-Web services piece to change without negatively affecting promoting reuse of existing IT assets across an enterprise. It application often does not recognize the user the other, “as long as the interface remains also allows government agencies to provide, if you will, and so the data may be re-keyed each time a unchanged.” This flexibility allows software to be plug-and-play extensions to their legacy data systems thus renewal occurs. Granted, this process is evolving built by assembling individual components into a makings these islands of data accessible via the Web.7 without SOA to the point that better linking with complete application.5 databases allows some level of recognition and Web Services form filling capability to reduce data entry time. These Web services do not need to be govern- According to the W3C, a Web service is “a software Yet SOA, through the use of Web services, pro- ment created or owned but can be used at no cost system designed to support interoperable machine-to- machine interaction over a network. It has an interface vides an opportunity to move this process to a or for a fee. This opens a range of possibilities for described in a machine-processable format (specifically new level of efficiency and integration. governments in deciding who is best positioned to Web Services Description Language (WSDL)). Other provide a specific service, including contracting with systems interact with the Web service in a manner pre- For example, Web services offer the ability to private partners and non-governmental, civic scribed by its description using Simple Object Access realize a long envisioned but still elusive citizen organizations. Suppose a government has created Protocol (SOAP) messages, typically conveyed using directory. At the citizen-facing level, an interface to a “mash-up” between the Google Maps Web HTTP with an XML serialization in conjunction with a sharable directory would capture basic informa- service and a database of sex offenders. Because other Web-related standards.”8 Software applications tion about an individual who might use a govern- Google offered the map service at no charge, written in various programming languages, running on ment service in the future — information such as there would be no formal contractual relationship various platforms can use Web services to exchange name, address, phone number and e-mail. At beyond a license agreement. data over computer networks like the Internet. This their discretion, citizens could set individualized interoperability is due to the use of open standards. W3C9 and OASIS10 are the primary committees respon- preferences to pre-select specialized services to What happens when a vendor decides to charge sible for the architecture and standards for Web servic- match their needs and lifestyle. For example, an for a service it has been providing for free? This is es and e-business. individual could be notified about all licenses up a minor issue when it involves a single Web serv- for renewal over the next five years including ice. But what if an aggressive government decides occupational and professional licenses, hunting to consume hundreds of services as they become and fishing licenses, or renewal of motor vehicle available? Clearly, a legal framework for consum- tags or driver’s licenses. As more applications ing private sector Web services will be warranted become available online and existing services in the near future, as these services will inevitably are updated, this individual could become a proliferate on the Web. 4
  5. 5. A Strategy Paper from THE CENTER FOR DIGITAL GOVERNMENT Service-Oriented Architecture is Here to Stay The summary judgment of a critical mass of estimates that by “2006, more than 60 percent development projects.”12 Governments have industry analysts suggests that SOA is a funda- of the $527 billion IT professional services tremendous opportunity here and should do mental shift in software architecture and part of market will be based on the utilization of Web whatever is needed to capitalize on this trend. what some refer to as Web 2.011 — that is, the services standards and technology. By 2008, “next generation” Web. For example, Gartner SOA will provide the basis for 80 percent of Where to Use SOA in Government Author and consultant Joe McKendrick Improving External explores a number of real world uses for Partner Relationships SOA that are applicable to government. Improve these relationships by permitting McKendrick’s original list has been adapted, local governments, educational institu- Service-Oriented Architecture summarized and changed to better apply to tions, state agencies, courts, the legislature government. and nationwide public entities and trading partners/suppliers to create a shared Presentation Layer Data Management library of Web services components. Portal/Web Apps Data management streamlines access and links data users to services they need to Creating Cost Efficiencies process data. Verizon Communications claims to have reduced IT costs by 50 percent by elimi- Orchestration Layer Workflow Management nating redundant systems inherited from business process modeling; business Business Process Execution Language the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE. The activity monitoring (BAM); workflow (BPEL) is an XML-based language that SOA also helped integrate the operations brings together the protocols for the heavy of some 7,000 developers. Cost efficien- lifting of automating business processes cies of this type are also possible in govern- with the subtleties of business interactions. ment, particularly during IT organizational Business Logic Layer BPEL extends Web services to transac- consolidations. Web Services tions, including modeling steps that work goes through to be processed in an end- Reducing IT Automation to-end transaction. Project Timelines Reduce these timelines from months to Integration Layer Service Consolidation weeks. Enterprise Application Integration Service consolidation can link to and leverage existing in-house legacy systems, Application Consolidation, making them access via a single citizen or Re-use and Business/IT Alignment business portal. It also permits such uses as To achieve consolidation, re-use and align- online bill pay. ment, build a Web service once and allow Data Layer multiple applications to use it. Legacy Applications; databases Constituent Services Integration Integration could create a series of Data Sharing Among loosely coupled Web services and provide Loosely Coupled Networks Some content for this sidebar was adapted from a presen- tation given by Toby Redshaw, CTO of Motorola, at SOA a single interface for all types of constituent Achieve data sharing among loosely cou- Executive Forum for Government, May 5, 2005. inquiries, feedback and complaints. pled networks by expanding the access and Constituent services integration could sharing of data trapped inside hard-coded also integrate workflow, alerts and data legacy systems.13 feeds to each agency for processing and follow-up. Web 2.0 – Simplicity First SOA can be complex to implement or it can be Microsoft Chief Technology Officer Ray Ozzie user and administrator frustration. Moving for- easier to implement, depending on the says it best in a recent memo: “Complexity ward…[we should]…explore and embrace approach. In essence, Web 2.0 advocates for kills. It sucks the life out of developers; it makes techniques to reduce complexity.”14 simpler software — easier to build and use, products difficult to plan, build and test; it intro- cleaner and cheaper. duces security challenges; and it causes end- 5
  6. 6. Service-Oriented Architecture Developing a SOA and Web Services Mindset Building the future of public service delivery Another area that has become viable, although video podcasts is on the horizon. From these means getting the architecture right. To that it has taken a number of hits since 2001, is using examples of RSS/XML deployments, govern- end, organizations need to begin developing Web logs. There have been a fair number of ments can begin to create a Web services SOA and Web services mindsets. Begin by just legislators, public employees and at least one library that can be shared across states — from starting somewhere. Some state and local gov- governor that tried blogging. Others have virtual travel services for state employees to cit- ernments have done so by creating Really experimented with audio blogging or podcasts. izen payment engines and citizen directories. Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds for information Podcasting speeches or meetings are other that is of interest to the public and allowing an emerging means of government-to-citizen individual to pick or personalize the list of feeds communication. The beauty of podcasting is that interest them. Using RSS is also a good that it allows for portability — whether on a place to start becoming familiar with the lan- person’s belt or in a vehicle during suburban guage of Web services, XML. commutes. The development of downloaded Starting with Data Government data is everywhere, so a review reuse when it comes to data. Applications, as percent) may be spent finding and accessing of key government data is another good place well as service-oriented applications, are about disparate data. This is an indication that one of to start building a SOA. Currently there is no data. The vast majority of application develop- the first places to begin with SOA projects is by single view, no uniformity, and virtually no ment time today (some estimate up to 70 service enabling data.15 What “Done” Looks Like The key to building a SOA is getting some and private sectors, “done” will be a funda- occur over the next three years. Of course, on quick wins and experience. Armed with the mental shift in the architecture of software. the services side, “done” means a more agile, SOA mindset and a foundation of standards to Eventually Web applications will represent only nimble, flexible, adaptive and service-oriented build on, Web services efficiencies can be har- a small portion of total usable code, the vast government. vested. This begs the question: “What does amount being consumed from loosely coupled ‘done’ look like?” As SOA evolves in the public Web services. This is a huge transition that will On the Horizon – SOA Enablers The new year opened with a breakthrough model for building applications and systems Instead of spending time on implementation announcement that demonstrates the matura- using a Service-oriented Architecture. Service and maintenance, developers can spend more tion of SOA through the release of a Service Infrastructure is a new type of software, neces- valuable time developing business solutions.16 Component Architecture (SCA). SCA is a sary for extensive SOA adoption. Such stan- process and set of specifications that describe a dardization efforts free up developers’ time. Action Plans: How One Government Got Started with SOA Consistent with the state’s world view — under increasing pressure to seek new IT solu- next page for definition)) and is using SOA to namely, “We relish competition and cherish tions in the wake of baby boomer retirement. extend and integrate legacy applications with- our champions for their willingness to push Chandrachood explains that it takes 150 peo- out relying on point-to-point interfaces. beyond conventional boundaries to reach new ple to manage these applications. “We current- Chandrachood describes the old way of inte- heights of success,” Kentucky has recently ly have the personnel,” says Chandrachood, gration as “burning money” but uses more adopted SOA as the state’s new platform for “but we may not have that luxury in the future. hopeful terms when he says that “data suggests governing now and in the future. So part of SOA is answering the question of that SOA is the most effective and cost efficient how to do more with less.” way to move forward.” According to Vibhas Chandrachood, executive director of Application Development for the Kentucky decided to implement SOA through Still, using an ESB to extend legacy systems while Commonwealth of Kentucky, government is the use of an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB (see simultaneously building new applications in a 6
  7. 7. A Strategy Paper from THE CENTER FOR DIGITAL GOVERNMENT SOA environment has its challenges. Key among es can be called upon by a variety of applica- state is also building a Web service for address them, says Chandrachood, “is to understand tions. One of the first systems identified by validation that Chandrahood describes as “a and articulate what business problems SOA will their business case process to come online simple and reusable component of almost any solve.” He also explains that developers need to with the ESB is the e-collections system of legacy application. Build it once and it can be carefully adhere to SOA architecture, frame- the Department of Revenue. Chandrahood leveraged by anybody else,” he says. work, and to use open protocols like XML. explains that 150 agencies collect money and all have a need to talk to the tax system. This Kentucky is currently working on several appli- project will be followed by another heavily uti- cations to use the ESB and also building a core lized database, the state’s accounting system. In set of rules that run via that Bus. These servic- addition to these data integration efforts, the Action Steps for Moving Government Toward SOA Service-Enable Data First References Look for the most heavily utilized databases with the most requested data elements and begin 1 World Health Organization, “Avian influenza: assessing the exposing this information first. pandemic threat.” January 2005. 2 International Society for Disease Surveillance. Utilize an Enterprise Service Bus An ESB is software (a messaging engine) that makes services reusable and available to users, appli- 3 Wikipedia, “Service-oriented Architecture.” Updated January 17, cations, business processes, and other services. 2006. 4, “Amazon Mechanical Turk (Beta): Artificial Identify Frequently Repeatable Processes Artificial Intelligence.” These will exist across agency boundaries and are candidates for re-use. 361_3 103 53354064557436?%5Fencoding=UTF8&node= 15879911 &no=3435361&me=A36L942TSJ2AJA Establish Standards 5 World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), “Web Services Application developers need to understand, support and follow standards. Organizations need to Glossary: W3C Working Group Note.” February 11, 2004 provide developers with adequate training to successfully make the shift to utilizing Web services. webservice 6 Hao He, “What is Service-Oriented Architecture?” Just Start Experimenting September 30, 2003. Develop SOA and Web services mindsets by experimenting with RSS (Really Simple Syndication) news feeds on agency Web sites. Have the RSS feed provide information that is of interest to the public or employees. Encourage employee Web logs, viewable at least from inside the firewall. Try Architecture.html 7 Phil Laplante and Thomas Costello, audio and video podcasting for government-to-citizen communications. “CIO Wisdom II: More Best Practices.” p. 121, 2005. 8 World Wide Web Consortium, op.cit., glossary. Create a Web Services Library 9 World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Develop a library of Web services that can be shared across states. Provide a broad range of data, 10 Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information from virtual travel services for state employees to citizen payment engines and citizen directories. Standards (OASIS) 11 Tim O’Reilly, “What is Web. 2.0?” September 30, 2005. what-is-web-20.html?page=5 12 David W. Cearley, Jackie Fenn, Daryl C. Plummer, “Gartner’s Conclusion Positions on the Five Hottest IT Topics and Trends in 2005.” Gartner, May 12, 2005 ?doc_cd=125868 13 Based on Joe McKendrick’s Ten Examples of SOA at work, Governments can no longer justify unnecessary duplication of infrastructure that could right now. January 2006. otherwise be shared. Nor can governments afford to build tomorrow’s stovepipe systems today. Governments must confront some hard choices about the future. Will government 14 Ray Ozzie, “Internet Services Disruption,” Microsoft Memo, allow itself to be characterized as the button-downed, hard-coded, hardwired IT systems October 28, 2005, courtesy of Dave Winer and Scripting News. of the past — or instead embrace the new approaches, methods and tools that a Service- Disruptio.htm oriented Architecture entails? 15 BEA Systems, “BEA AquaLogic Data Services Platform,” 2006. Governments and their leaders have the opportunity to rekindle a formidable and abiding content/products/aqualogic/data_services trust among citizens. As trusted servants of the people, governments will receive the well- 16 Robin Cover, “IT Vendors Promote Service Component Architecture (SCA,)” Cover Pages, OASIS, December 7, 2005. earned credit as they become more agile, nimble, flexible, adaptive and service-oriented governments. 7
  8. 8. © 2006 e.Republic, Inc. All rights reserved. 100 Blue Ravine Road Folsom, CA 95630 916.932.1300 phone 916.932.1470 fax Underwritten by: BEA Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: BEAS) is a world leader in enterprise infrastructure software, providing standards-based platforms to accelerate the secure flow of information and services. BEA product lines — WebLogic®, Tuxedo®, JRockit®, and the new AquaLogic™ family of Service Infrastructure — help customers reduce IT complexity and successfully deploy Service-Oriented Architectures to improve business agility and efficiency. With BEA platforms for building services and managing the entire SOA lifecycle, companies can confidently move their SOA projects from pilot to enterprise-wide production, even in heterogeneous environments. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, BEA is a billion-dollar company with 15,000 customers worldwide served by 76 offices in 36 countries. For more information please visit Acknowledgments: Paul W. Taylor, Ph.D., Chief Strategy Officer for the Center Digital Government and the Center for Digital Education Al Sherwood, Senior Fellow for the Center for Digital Government and former deputy CIO for the state of Utah About Center for Digital Government: The Center for Digital Government, a division of e.Republic, Inc., is a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government. Its advisory services, online resources and special reports provide public and private sector leaders with decision support, knowledge and opportunities to help effectively incorporate new technologies in the 21st century. The Center's Strategy Papers provide two decades of experience and insight into the most critical IT topics governments are faced with today. The papers address important policy and management issues and offer strategic approaches for planning and implementing technology, funding sources and case studies from jurisdictions.