Solving the Root Causes of Nine Common Data and Application Problems

SOA Solutions that Minimize Changes to Applications

September 11, 2003

This report explains how to solve common data and application integration problems using IT services. We examine why a multitier architecture is more effective for business services and examine how Web Services can be used to create a virtual data store or to front-end a physical operational data store so that your customers, suppliers, and employees can access correct and consistent data on demand.


Service-Oriented Architecture can be applied to create software modules that integrate, synchronize, and share data in business-meaningful chunks. This report shows you how.

This report examines specific solutions to data and application integration using Web Services examples. We show you how to create a virtual operational data store (ODS) using Web Services, so that your organization will have a single point for accessing critical data and a single place where business rules are enforced consistently. We describe the multitier services architecture that has proven most effective for resolving data and application problems, and we’ll show how that layered approach helps you to maintain separation of architectural concerns. Finally, we identify which fixes can be made without disturbing the underlying applications and data vs. fixes that require changes to the application code or data.

By following the guidelines in this report, your organization will be better able to leverage the business and software flexibility offered by Web Services.


The prior report in this series(1) identified nine common data and applications problems facing organizations today:

* Obsolete data structures and missing data

* Rigid data structures

* Redundant data

* Incompatible storage technologies

* Redundant processing

* Business rules not enforced correctly or not enforced by software at all

* Conflicting data access technologies

* Incompatible security technologies

* Disaggregated data

We have discovered that all of these problems can be addressed by fixing just four underlying causes. (See Table.) These underlying causes are:

* Data Structure--Data structures are out of sync with the business.

* Data Access--Data access is difficult or costly.

* Business Rules--Business rules are enforced haphazardly or by human intervention rather than software implementation.

* Data Security--Data security is inadequate or inhibits normal business operation.

Solving Data Problems by Addressing Root Causes

Table. Instead of solving data and application problems by addressing the symptoms, consider addressing the underlying architectural issues. These underlying issues manifest themselves in the data and application problems that most organizations--probably including your own--experience. Addressing any root issue will mitigate more than one symptom for the data that is presented or managed by the resulting IT services.

In this report, we’ll show you how to solve these four underlying causes with SOA and Web Services, thus minimizing or removing the aforementioned data and application problems as a result....


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