An SOA odyssey

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

SOA Step by Step

At Compassion the decision was made to move towards service orientation in order to support an ever growing number of sponsored children. Currently, Compassion manages data on over 650,000 children who are sponsored by individuals and groups around the world. That number is likely to grow to over one million children by sometime in 2007. By constructing new systems using the principles of service orientation and introducing business process management software, the idea is to build systems composed of processes and services that can be scaled out to meet that demand.

The process of moving from client/server development (a monolithic Powerbuilder application performs almost all business functions today with a SQL Server backend) to service orientation is a challenging one to say the least. The general path that we’ve chosen is the following:

  1. Identify a project (a set of business processes) where service oriented architecture can be implemented along side existing systems
  2. Evaluate the SOA landscape and publish a set of SOA standards within the IT organization
  3. Build a reference implementation or working model that uses the standards
  4. Use the reference implementation as the template for implementing the project

Compassion is a Microsoft shop and so the tools we’ll be using in this endeavor include Visual Studio, BizTalk, SQL Server, IIS, and MSMQ as well as a business process software product from Ultimus.

Saturday, April 23, 2005


Recently my family and I moved from Kansas City to start a new job with Compassion International. As a part of this job I'm working with a great team to implement the standards, architecture, and first project in Compassion's Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) using Microsoft technology.

On this blog I intend to share our experiences as we make our way down this road. Stay tuned.