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Enterprise Content Management and Service-Oriented Architecture

Layne McDonald. Ph.D.

Content entries go into a single repository, and users can receive different services (that they were receiving from various applications earlier or are entirely new services) from an integrated system with a standard front end. Service Oriented Architecture, Enterprise Application Integration, and Data Warehousing work to make this scenario a reality.


Data warehouses, unlike transactional databases, are designed to ease querying and analysis. They are separated from transactional databases so that the latter are not burdened with query/analysis processing requests. These requests use processing resources, slowing down transaction response times.


Enterprise Application Integration looks to integrate the different applications to cut content and processing operations duplication.


This article explores how Service Oriented Architecture works.


The Service-Oriented Architecture


This style of architecture groups functionalities into specific service groups. The services are supplied to manage business processes that support an organization's business.


The enterprise-wide system is structured as a collection of standard services that different applications used by employees, suppliers, and customers need. These applications might work on various platforms and code in other programming languages. Each service is designed to work with any application that calls it, and would not know which application would call it. Its role is to supply a defined benefit in a standard way to whatever application calls for it.


The pool of services can be configured to create new applications if needed. This kind of architecture adds flexibility and quicker deployment to content management systems.


Available services are listed in a service registry that can be looked up by applications for calling the aid they need. The benefits would come with any attached security requirements appropriate to the service.


In an ideal system, one service or another would cater to every kind of information management need, and there would be a standard look and feel for the interface. Additionally, information management would be customizable to the requirements of the organization's business processes.


Internet Protocols and SOA

Internet Protocols work independently of platforms and programming languages and on the service request and delivery model. For example, a user client might request a particular document, and the server complies with the request by retrieving it and sending it to the client.


This makes the web-services approach a good Service Oriented Architectural approach. You can make your existing applications web-enabled to start building an SOA system.


All services are described in XML documents independent of platforms and written in Web Services Description Language (WSDL). An XML schema enables communication among the services.


A web service is one of many technologies that SOA can use. SOA is an architecture that can be implemented using different technologies.




Service Oriented Architecture makes it possible to convert even legacy applications into services that any application can call. By configuring the services to cater to all kinds of information management needs and tailoring the information management to the requirements of the business, you get to use enterprise knowledge to gain absolute control over business processes. This is what Enterprise Content Management systems look to achieve.

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