Before the Mic *\|

On 18th, I gave my first external talk as a speaker. It was a great day for me, and here are the excerpts.

When I first came to know about it, I felt great. There was a lot of time to it, hence I started preparing for it. I wanted it to be as good as possible. Finally we built the abstract of our talk and we agreed to give seminar on “Multiple Methodologies for realizing Web Services”.

Finally the day came. Our present was to start just after lunch. Before-lunch session was devoted exclusively to SOA and hence web services was not in the picture at all. Web services were supposed to start only after lunch, right from our presentation. As usual, there were lots of questions and confusions about SOA. Can u tell us some business cases of SOA fitting in present scenarios? Is SOA just a hype, or does it actually deliver its promises? Is SOA enough to satisfy business and IT requirements alone, or is it not ‘that’ worth without orchestration engines like BPEL? Two presentations; Fundamental questions; Morning session was almost a hullabaloo and seminar looked more like a discussion forum than a boring one-to-many presentation function!

We didn’t have heavy lunch! Our session started little late due to delays in morning session. Mr. Kumar gave a short introduction for us, and Mohit started with our presentation. Initially we got quite apprehensive, for no questions popped up from crowd even after 10 slides! Are they understanding us or not? Only later realizing that our slides were quite self-explanatory, finally a question came up, “Can exposing a legacy system as web service be an SOA approach to development of services?” The answer was simple, NO. I figured out that audience were still in the dream of SOA, and they did not receive the buzz of entering Web Services, the technology which actually realized the decade old concept. Answer was, even though bottom-up approach is not a true SOA approach to development, this is the approach which actually delivered the value of SOA into industry through successful deployments of legacy systems as web services. They produced quick results and showed the value of web service standards, being developed over a period of last 4-5 years.

Happy to go over it, we went ahead quite smoothly. Subsequent slides were not that complicated. Until, a very intuitive question came, “Can u illustrate different business cases, where these three approaches u listed (Bottom-up, Top-down and Meet-in-the-Middle approach, MDA approach was still to be spoken) may be differentiated rather clearly?” Naturally, I landed up in a diplomatic answer, for choice of development methodology depends upon large factors including budget and time constraints for deployment besides system’s architecture. Hence, most of fresh developments land up in meet-in-the middle approaches, where advantages of both bottom-up and top-down approaches co-exist.

Model Driven Approach to Web Services was itself a new concept for many listeners. I started with an introduction, and landed up explaining how quite-matured-by-now MDA approach could help delivering large SOA products in practical sense. MDA uses models to represent a system, and hence maintaining integrity is an easier task between multiple sections of the system. Although both MDA and Web Services address the same issue of interoperability in IT industry and hence might appear as supplement for each other, actually they complement and co-exist. UML diagrams and MDA techniques are quite well suited to model business logic into pictorial form, which are easily understood. A complete automation of UML models into web services ( not all UML models can be converted to web services, as some of them are platform agnostic while web services is not) can not only leverage the value of web services, but also retain the advantages of UML representation.

In last, I explained the best practices for designing error components in web services. Our presentation too, got stretched almost half an hour, and in last we wrapped up to finish our presentation fast.

We were quite satisfied with our presentation. It was a great experience for me and Mohit. I am certainly looking to give more such talks in future.

Thanks a lot to Vibrant Tech for inviting us!

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