Ask FSA Andy by FSA Andy about service-oriented architecture


Hello Again!

Most of us are fortunate to have missed most of the last major snow and ice storm that slammed the south and moved up the east coast. The old woodchuck certainly got it right this year. My daughter is not happy to have to make up snow days and I think that senioritis is setting in. At least the first day of spring is not that far off.

I have been coming into the office for over 23 years now and each day I sit down at my computer, turn it on and assume that it will work and do what I need to do. I never give much thought to how all this stuff works or what it takes to make it work and most of us don’t really care as long as it does work. I guess those folks out there that are computer scientists and engineers have a little different perspective.

When I came across the term Service-oriented architecture (SOA) I had no idea what it meant. So here is the Wikipedia definition. “Service-oriented architecture (SOA) is a software design and software architecture design pattern based on discrete pieces of software providing application functionality as services to other applications”. This is known as Service –orientation. WHAT! The very basic is that it makes it easier for computers connected over a network to communicate. We sit down at our computers and every computer can run an arbitrary number of services, and each service is built in such a way that ensures that the service can exchange information with any other service in the network without human interaction and without the need to make changes to the underlying program itself.

The main benefit of SOA is to allow simultaneous use and easy exchange between programs of different venders without additional programming or making changes to the services. These services are also reusable, resulting in lower development and maintenance costs and providing more value once the service is developed and tested. Having reusable services readily available also results in quicker time to market.

Meet Kerrie Holley, African American software architect, author, consultant, inventor and IBM Fellow. Holley is recognized internationally for his innovative work in architecture and software engineering centered on the adoption of Service Oriented Architecture.

Holley was raised on the south side of Chicago by his maternal grandmother in a neighborhood marked by poverty and gang activity. He defied social odds by channeling his love for math and science through his academic studies. Holley received his Bachelors of Art in Mathematics from DePaul University in Chicago in 1976 followed by Juris Doctorate Degree in 1982 from DePaul University College of Law.

He joined IBM in 1986 as an Advisory Systems Engineer. In 1990 he became an analytics consultant with IBM’s consulting group, now called IBM Global Business Services. Holley was appointed Chief Technology Officer of IBM’s GBS, AIS and IBM’s SOA center of Excellence where he works with clients to create flexible applications that enable companies to respond to rapidly changing markets. For his work Holley was recognized as an IBM Fellow. Kerrie Holley is the co-patent owner of the industry’s first SOA method and SOA maturity model, which helps companies develop SOA-based applications and infrastructures.

Thank you Kerrie Holley for your scientific work that allows the rest of us to sit down at our computers and do what we do.

Now that we have a new Farm Bill I am sure that Holley’s work will assist the Department of Agriculture and FSA as they undertake the monumental task of writing the rules and regulations and computer programs for all the new programs. All of us will be reading about the new Farm Bill programs as much has already been written about them but here at FSA we must patiently wait for the final rules and regulations before disseminating program information. We look forward to doing that just as soon as possible.

That’s all for now FSA Andy


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