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Achieving true flexibility of SOA-based information systems by adopting practices from product line engineering

: Naab, Matthias

Kaiserslautern: Fraunhofer IESE, 2009, VII, 20 pp.
IESE-Report, 072.09/E
Fraunhofer IESE ()
service-oriented architecture (SOA); software architecture; flexibility; product line engineering

Nearly all enterprise organizations rely on information systems supporting of their business processes. Multiple reasons require changes of these business processes and consequently of the IT systems, but they are hard to achieve. The paradigm of SOA is becoming more and more popular and one of its main claims is increased business agility and flexibility. Although a number of concepts for flexibility are provided, methodical support for the design of flexible systems is still missing. This dissertation research aims at providing such a method, enhancing actual SOA design methods. Due to parallels of flexibility in SOA-based systems and variability in product lines, the proposed solution adopts concepts and practices from product line engineering. Design for flexibility starts with an analysis and scope definition of anticipated changes. Further, sound management practices for the planned flexibility are needed. For the realization of flexibility, the proposed method combines and aligns the selection of dedicated architectural mechanisms and the design of service properties for the specific context. The method provides an explicit design process and the supporting concepts.