March 06, 2006, 1:40 AM — Transforming a puzzling patchwork of disjointed legacy applications to an integrated yet flexible suite may seem a daunting task.
But it's a goal the Ontario government is well on its way to achieving thanks to its new Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) initiative.
SOA is a software architectural concept that defines the use of services to support the requirements of software users. Stressing virtues of interoperability and reusability, SOA promises greater flexibility and responsiveness in data systems and the business processes they support.
In Ontario, the new SOA framework will reuse systems for common business processes and make the government's IT infrastructure more flexible to adapt to changes in government programs, and even changes in governments.
Ron Huxter, chief technology officer in Ontario's Ministry of Government Services, used an IBM Canada breakfast on SOA best practices in Toronto last month to outline the government's blueprint. He said one key driver for moving to SOA was the need to be more agile. "We have 200 to 300 different lines of business