You are hereBridging the gap between BI & SOA
Bridging the gap between BI & SOA
We already know that business intelligence (BI) can bring many benefits to an organization. Through consolidating, aggregating, and analyzing data, BI can provide many insights into what is currently happening, as well as what is going to happen within the organization. BI allows for identifying trends of where an organization is going or should be going. The road to BI usually starts with extract transform and load (ETL). ETL is, generally speaking, a process in data warehousing that involves:
- Extracting data from external and internal data sources.
- Transforming the data to fit business needs.
- Loading the transformed data into the data warehouse (or data mart).
Basically, for us to achieve BI Nirvana, all we need is "just" one input: data. BI needs the data that is hidden within the organization's systems.
In the last few years, we have seen the advance of service-oriented architecture (SOA) to the forefront of IT architectures. As the hype begins to clear and organizations make the transition to SOA, the data that BI requires is suddenly scattered between multiple services and hidden behind contracts.
Looking at the SOA components in Figure 1 (taken from my paper What Is SOA, Anyway?), we can see that apart from the obvious component—the service—SOA has several other components that are related to the interface of the service:
- Contract that the service implements
- Endpoints, where the service can be contacted
- Messages that are moved back and forth between the service and its consumers
- Policies to which the service adheres.
- Consumers that interact with the service
This, along with SOA tenets like "share schema, not data" and "services should be autonomous," tells us SOA really cares about its interfaces. This emphasis on communication through rigorously defined interfaces is exactly what brings technical and business advantages of loose coupling, flexibility, and agility to SOA.