Blocks of SOA: Building services with common symbols

Blocks of SOA: Building services with common symbols

Decades of siloed system design have left most government organizations with antique, rickety systems that don’t play well with others. By putting new SOA wrappers on old proprietary applications, modular interfaces can be built, shared, linked, reused and recombined as needed. The utopia is infinite interoperability. More at

It’s architecture, not technology

The federal government supports SOA development across the public sector and has posted two documents outlining SOA strategy and a series primer. Gary Doucet, executive director of architecture for the CIO branch of Treasury Board Secretariat, says the concepts of SOA and service orientation overlap. More at

Where to start SOA

Much homework and hard footwork is needed to drive a compelling case for a SOA project. At SIMS (a shared information management services provider), the strategy is to start with a universal service that’s required across all departments or agencies. A project like linking IDs, for example, aligns with the province’s broader business objectives to improve services. More at

SOA: A better ballgame with BTEP

Taking an enterprise view can help to guide an organization to improved planning, decision-making, communications and business direction. It’s also time-consuming and requires ongoing investment to support. It’s not a one-time quick fix, either. The promise of service-oriented architecture (SOA) is the ability to better automate business processes and implement changes quickly. More at

Understanding the architecture

Service-oriented architecture or SOA is an architecture style, not a product or a project. It’s an improvement over past architectures in that it captures and uses the best practices of the architectures that came before it. As such, SOA is an evolution in architecture, not a revolution. More at

Moving beyond consultation

It is an interesting indicator of the changing state of our political culture that even the most secretive and centralizing of governments now feel obliged to insist they consult closely with the public on key issues. At the same time, stakeholders regularly complain about the lack of consultation. They say decision-making is too closed, top-down and unresponsive. More at

Why business models matter

Many organizations assume that success is determined primarily by their product and service offerings, how well they meet customer needs, and on the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations. But in today’s rapidly changing and complex environment, the business model is becoming equally important and arguably inseparable from the product and operational strategies in achieving success. More at

Infoway peers into the future

The progress in e-health delivery during the past few years puts Canada in a promising position, says a vision paper prepared by Canada Health Infoway Inc. The paper suggests several goals beyond the rollout of a national EHR system, including better disease management and cancer care systems, enhanced pandemic and public health services, more extensive remote care and shorter wait-times. More at

Three nuggets for talent gold

It is unacceptable for the public sector to resign itself to losing the most senior or valuable IT employees to the private sector. These employees have the critical skills and institutional knowledge and memory. Further, a continual process of employee turnover involves non-trivial hiring and training costs. The new HR paradigm for retention and acquisition is to develop, deploy and connect. More at

Math for the masses: managing infrastructure assets

Mathematical optimization has long been used in forestry to determine appropriate harvesting and planting, relative to the life spans of trees. The New Brunswick Department of Transportation is using similar methods to plan the long-term treatment of roads and bridges. More at

Q and A with Michael Tschichholz, e-Government Competence Center, Germany

Based in Berlin, Michael Tschichholz is director of Germany’s Competence Center for Electronic Government and Applications. During his visit to Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., for the 2007 Lac Carling Congress, he sat down with senior writer Lisa Williams to discuss Germany’s ambitious e-Government 2.0 program and the headway they’re making on their national ID strategy. More at

Estonia’s unsolved zombie insurgence

The month-long assault in April against Estonia’s government Web sites, banks, media outlets and ISPs was neither unusual nor unexpected, and the origin of the attacks may never be known. The attacks also punched big holes in the idea that the Internet is so universal and has so much inherent redundancy that it can heal itself, patching around damaged nodes and getting the data safely to its destination, despite any and all obstacles. More at

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