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IMS whitepaper Adoption of SOA in Education published

Christina Smart
Last modified 24 Jun, 2009
Published 24 Jun, 2009
The IMS white paper “Adoption of Service Oriented Architecture for Enterprise Systems in Education: Recommended Practices” is now available on the IMS web site. This comprehensive 50 page report edited by Colin Smythe advocates an incremental approach and covers the SOA maturity model framework, SOA governance, evaluates common SOA tools and includes four implementation scenarios.

The Executive Summary outlines some of the benefits of SOA for education:

“The intended outcome of SOA adoption as recommended in this paper is to improve interoperability both internal and external to an institution, to realize cost savings over time by adopting reusable and open standard IT services, and to align IT services ever more closely with the services that the institution provides to its ecosystem. These outcomes can be achieved today in education through a phased service oriented approach.”

The authors (Blinco, Grisby, Laird, O’Neill, Srikanth and Smythe) include a number of typical scenarios encountered by educational institutions, each presented with incremental levels of SOA adoption.

  1. Integrating Enterprise Applications in an SOA context in Education – An Integration Scenario
  2. Enabling Shared Services & Cloud with Service Oriented Architecture – A Virtual Desktop Shared Service Scenario
  3. Bringing on New Systems with a Services Approach – A Financial Aid Scenario
  4. Cross Institution Records – A Learner-centred e-Portfolio Scenario

While the financial aid scenario is clearly more relevant to US institutions the others provide useful guidance on implementation and roll out.

The paper concludes with a discussion of the accelerators to SOA adoption, the factors that will enable a more rapid take up of the approach within institutions.

The paper will be of interested to those considering service orientation for their own institutions. Its status is a public draft 1.0 released on 11th May 2009 for external review.


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