Applications that Grow Organically

first_imgA key advantage of web-based architectures over client/server is the fact that the application resides on the server.  Centralized application management means that updates, patches and enhancements can be made on the server without having to re-deploy client software across the entire user base. Changes are transparent to the users, and the effort to revise, update and deploy application changes is greatly reduced.  The ease of deployment encourages an environment where frequent incremental changes are made.Centralized application management has brought about technology buzzwords like ASP, SaaS and “On-Demand Services”.  These technologies typically refer to outsourced applications that are hosted externally. Centralized application management also has blurred the concept of software updates and versioning — weekly or even daily updates are not at all uncommon.The combination of web-based applications and Web Services provides a base from where software can grow and evolve.  Start small and grow.  In the past, moving forward with the capabilities of newer technology has often meant that consultants would be brought in to totally re-architect the existing system.  SOA and Web Services change that dynamic.An SOA architecture breaks down a system into components and easily allows the singling out of individual components from the entire solution for retooling and updating.  Incremental growth is encouraged.  And a path of smaller, incremental changes is one that has less risk and is easier to manage — if a problem is spotted after an upgrade, rolling back to using the previous version of a single component is much easier than reviving a monolithic application that had been scheduled for retirement.Small incremental updates mean that users don’t need to significantly change their way of doing things.  It’s easier for end users to adopt and the amount of training needed is reduced.  The ability to apply frequent changes can empower end users too.  Once they become aware that the system is flexible, they are more inclined to provide feedback for how to change or enhance it.  The result is a system that is more in tune with the true business process and one that can more easily grow and morph right along with a company’s changing requirements.Formtek | Orion 5 Web Services works well as the data repository component of an SOA architecture.  The basic Formtek Web Services includes a complete set of library services for the content repository including check-in, check-out and versioning.last_img