|By Michael Blank||
|September 26, 2003 12:00 AM EDT||
Web services are moving from the latest buzzword to a mature and accepted technology. Mainstream companies such as Eastman Chemical, Wells Fargo, and NEC have begun deploying significant Web Services-Based Integration (WSBI) projects. Avnet Computer Marketing (Avnet CM) is one of many companies also betting heavily on Web services. This month, "Web Services in the Real World" describes Avnet CM's strategic foray into WSBI (see sidebar). We'll explore their business objectives, why they chose Web services for some parts of their architecture (and not others), and the results they achieved.
Avnet Computer Marketing (Avnet CM) markets enterprise technology products from the world's premier computer manufacturers and software suppliers. Customers include value-added resellers (VARs) and enterprise customers, and Avnet CM provides them with marketing support, pricing strategies, and supplier-relationship management. Avnet CM is an operating group of Avnet, Inc. (NYSE:AVT), a Phoenix, Ariz.-based Fortune 500 company. Avnet is a technology marketing and services provider, and one of the world's largest distributors of electronic components and computer products from industry leading manufacturers.
Avnet CM manages Avnet's Hall-Mark e-business portal that allows customers and suppliers to configure and place orders, retrieve real-time pricing and availability information for products, and view their order status.
To provide customers and suppliers with a broad range of online services, Avnet CM needed to connect the portal to various back-end systems using a variety of protocols and file formats. "Maintaining this growing number of proprietary interfaces became untenable and prevented us from being able to respond quickly to new market opportunities," said Bud Alexander, vice president of Enterprise Integrated Solutions. He wanted to build a responsive IT infrastructure that allowed him to
Alexander's strategy was to wrap applications with business-oriented WSDL interfaces, creating common business services, and then to pull data from multiple applications into one "Business Service Hub." (This is one of the usage patterns identified in the first article of this series, "Patterns in Web Services Projects"; WSJ, Vol. 3, issue 5). The goal was to consolidate interfaces and reduce the number of connections among systems. The architecture was required to maximize the potential for reuse, and the services had to be accessible from anywhere using any technology.
With this framework in place, Alexander hoped to reduce system integration maintenance by combining and reusing connections among systems. Such a model would speed integration by reusing Web service components that were already built.
Three integrated portal applications, each developed and maintained by separate teams, provide the following capabilities to Avnet's sales force, customers, and suppliers:
Avnet CM implemented the Business Service Hub with a Web services-based integration platform (see Figure 1). The portal applications communicate with this integration platform via SOAP to access data from the following back-end systems:
The architecture also includes trading partner gateways for processing orders. Avnet CM currently supports RosettaNet and EDI transactions, and is planning to add a SOAP gateway in the future.
Why Web Services?
Avnet CM used Web services between the portal and the integration platform for the following reasons:
These reasons for using Web services are consistent with why other companies said they chose Web services for integration (see "Why Web Services Work"; WSJ, Vol. 3, issue 7). Interestingly, Alexander did not use Web services for the entire project. Specifically, his team did not use Web services between the integration layer and the mainframe and CRM systems. Instead, they used adapters and native APIs. Here's why:
With Web services connecting several back-end systems with their portal applications, Avnet CM realized the following benefits:
In the future, Avnet CM will extend the Web services framework to its customers and suppliers. "Web services continue to be central to our IT strategy. The investment in our Web serviced-based integration platform allows us to take advantage of our IT investments and to deliver greater value for the company," concludes Alexander.
Companies like Avnet CM prove that Web services are maturing as an accepted technology. At the same time, it's clear that Web services are not the silver bullet to solving complex integration problems, either. The trick is figuring out when to use Web services, and when not to. Based on the ROI realized by Avnet and other customers profiled in this column, Web services, and the service-oriented architectures that support them, are increasingly becoming a key component of any successful company's integration strategy.
Avnet CM turns to Web Services
Customer: Avnet Computer Marketing is an operating group of Avnet, Inc. (NYSE:AVT), a Phoenix, Ariz.-based Fortune 500 company. Avnet is a technology marketing and services provider and one of the world's largest distributors of electronic components and computer products from industry leading manufacturers.
Challenge: Consolidate and standardize application interfaces; implement a service-oriented integration architecture to speed time to market.
Solution: Avnet's e-business portal allows customers and suppliers to configure and place orders, retrieve real-time pricing & availability information, and view their order status. Web Services-Based Integration (WSBI) feeds the portal with data from various back-end systems.
Why Web Services: Avnet chose WSBI primarily for three reasons:
- Reduced development and maintenance cost
- IT agility
- Faster time to market
|Michael Blank 12/02/03 12:38:59 PM EST|
Below is the response from Avnet:
1. Did you use Trading Networks to use webservices ? or you have exposed
The external facing web services are exposed to to our partners via a UDDI server which allow for anonymous browsing of services. We do not use Trading Networks to manage Avnet's web services environment.
2. Do you suggest me to use WebServices or Trading Networks for the batch
Trading Networks natively will handle XML documents via it's 'receive' service. Once it is received the document can then be processed and routed via the routing rules that are associated with the document. In the case of batch processing you could route the request to a service that would break it apart to be processed as individual transactions. Web Services have a role of transporting the document and Trading Networks have a role of managing the documents once they are received or submitted.
|naveen kenche 11/20/03 03:14:47 PM EST|
Hi!, I understood the way you have used webservices from the external clients. My questions are as follows.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Jul. 29, 2016 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,743
There's a lot of things we do to improve the performance of web and mobile applications. We use caching. We use compression. We offload security (SSL and TLS) to a proxy with greater compute capacity. We apply image optimization and minification to content. We do all that because performance is king. Failure to perform can be, for many businesses, equivalent to an outage with increased abandonment rates and angry customers taking to the Internet to express their extreme displeasure.
Jul. 29, 2016 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,679
Right off the bat, Newman advises that we should "think of microservices as a specific approach for SOA in the same way that XP or Scrum are specific approaches for Agile Software development". These analogies are very interesting because my expectation was that microservices is a pattern. So I might infer that microservices is a set of process techniques as opposed to an architectural approach. Yet in the book, Newman clearly includes some elements of concept model and architecture as well as p...
Jul. 29, 2016 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 9,821
Ovum, a leading technology analyst firm, has published an in-depth report, Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting a DevOps Release Management Solution, 2016–17. The report focuses on the automation aspects of DevOps, Release Management and compares solutions from the leading vendors.
Jul. 29, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,836
Adding public cloud resources to an existing application can be a daunting process. The tools that you currently use to manage the software and hardware outside the cloud aren’t always the best tools to efficiently grow into the cloud. All of the major configuration management tools have cloud orchestration plugins that can be leveraged, but there are also cloud-native tools that can dramatically improve the efficiency of managing your application lifecycle. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, ...
Jul. 29, 2016 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,289
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
Jul. 29, 2016 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,348
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
Jul. 29, 2016 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,486
No matter how well-built your applications are, countless issues can cause performance problems, putting the platforms they are running on under scrutiny. If you've moved to Node.js to power your applications, you may be at risk of these issues calling your choice into question. How do you identify vulnerabilities and mitigate risk to take the focus off troubleshooting the technology and back where it belongs, on innovation? There is no doubt that Node.js is one of today's leading platforms of ...
Jul. 29, 2016 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 655
Let's just nip the conflation of these terms in the bud, shall we?
"MIcro" is big these days. Both microservices and microsegmentation are having and will continue to have an impact on data center architecture, but not necessarily for the same reasons. There's a growing trend in which folks - particularly those with a network background - conflate the two and use them to mean the same thing.
They are not.
One is about the application. The other, the network. T...
Jul. 29, 2016 04:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,722
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...
Jul. 29, 2016 04:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,373
This is a no-hype, pragmatic post about why I think you should consider architecting your next project the way SOA and/or microservices suggest. No matter if it’s a greenfield approach or if you’re in dire need of refactoring. Please note: considering still keeps open the option of not taking that approach. After reading this, you will have a better idea about whether building multiple small components instead of a single, large component makes sense for your project. This post assumes that you...
Jul. 29, 2016 04:15 AM EDT Reads: 4,284
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Jul. 29, 2016 04:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,694
Before becoming a developer, I was in the high school band. I played several brass instruments - including French horn and cornet - as well as keyboards in the jazz stage band. A musician and a nerd, what can I say? I even dabbled in writing music for the band. Okay, mostly I wrote arrangements of pop music, so the band could keep the crowd entertained during Friday night football games. What struck me then was that, to write parts for all the instruments - brass, woodwind, percussion, even k...
Jul. 29, 2016 01:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,354
In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Yoseph Reuveni, Director of Software Engineering at Jet.com, will discuss Jet.com's journey into containerizing Microsoft-based technologies like C# and F# into Docker. He will talk about lessons learned and challenges faced, the Mono framework tryout and how they deployed everything into Azure cloud. Yoseph Reuveni is a technology leader with unique experience developing and running high throughput (over 1M tps) distributed systems with extre...
Jul. 28, 2016 10:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,249
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at DevOps Summit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, cutting-edge enterprise web applications for desktop and mobile. SmartClient combines the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simp...
Jul. 28, 2016 10:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,269
Sharding has become a popular means of achieving scalability in application architectures in which read/write data separation is not only possible, but desirable to achieve new heights of concurrency. The premise is that by splitting up read and write duties, it is possible to get better overall performance at the cost of a slight delay in consistency. That is, it takes a bit of time to replicate changes initiated by a "write" to the read-only master database. It's eventually consistent, and it'...
Jul. 28, 2016 08:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,355
Jul. 28, 2016 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,966
If you are within a stones throw of the DevOps marketplace you have undoubtably noticed the growing trend in Microservices. Whether you have been staying up to date with the latest articles and blogs or you just read the definition for the first time, these 5 Microservices Resources You Need In Your Life will guide you through the ins and outs of Microservices in today’s world.
Jul. 28, 2016 04:15 AM EDT Reads: 4,171
This digest provides an overview of good resources that are well worth reading. We’ll be updating this page as new content becomes available, so I suggest you bookmark it. Also, expect more digests to come on different topics that make all of our IT-hearts go boom!
Jul. 28, 2016 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,763
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor – all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
Jul. 28, 2016 12:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,305