IBM SOA Certification: Innovation for Business
It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention. But necessity often drives innovation, as well. Additionally, innovation stems from the creative application of invention. So you might also think of necessity as the “grandmother” of innovation.
The needs of business are driving rapid change in the world today. A whole new generation of tools, techniques and technology has come of age. Companies are applying innovative business models and solutions to improve performance, grow the business and simultaneously decrease costs. IBM always has been at the forefront of innovation—starting with the introduction of computing. Today, IBM is taking on-demand business to the next level through innovation.
Within the realm of information technology, a key enabler of innovation is service-oriented architecture (SOA). SOA provides a foundation for business process adaptability and cost reduction by creating a flexible IT infrastructure. The architectural characteristics of SOA are based on business strategy and requirements, which can create an extremely positive impact on development, operations and even how the business is run.
SOA takes everyday applications and breaks them down into individual business functions and processes. It is designed to allow a business to build, integrate and deploy these functions and processes as shared services, independent of the application or system platform, using open standards for communications and security. These services can be combined, configured and reused to meet changing business requirements, thereby lowering the cost of integration and providing the IT flexibility needed to allow businesses to adapt to change quickly.
SOA is expected to play a strategic role in the future of IT, and SOA opportunities are tremendous worldwide. According to Forrester Research, 41 percent of the world’s 2,000 largest companies have deployed projects based on SOA. And according to Gartner, by 2008, SOA will provide the basis for 80 percent of new IT transformation projects.
IBM: A Leader in SOA
Focused on the future, IBM is taking a leadership role in SOA. In July 2005, Gartner published its study “Magic Quadrant for Web Services Platforms.” Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant” studies rate companies on various criteria concerning their capabilities to deliver value to clients. In 11 of its “Magic Quadrant” reports, Gartner positioned IBM as the leader in SOA-related technologies.
IBM continues to invest in SOA. In a recent press conference, IBM Senior VP and Group Executive SWG Steve Mills announced IBM is investing $1 billion per year to develop SOA products, train SOA experts and create SOA support services. IBM is training 90,000 consultants in SOA technologies and methodologies and building an SOA Center of Excellence.
Given SOA is strategic, a huge market and requires critical skill, it practically demands professional certification. So, IBM is taking a leadership role in SOA certification. IBM recently published its first certification for SOA. This certification is designed to validate the candidate’s ability to apply SOA principles in design decisions for service-focused application solutions, which are developed for deployment on IBM’s SOA Foundation software.
Testing at an intermediate skill level, the certification is intended for candidates who are consultants or architects with previous experience designing enterprise application components and enterprise business integration solutions and who are now a part of SOA project teams responsible for architecting the end-to-end design of an SOA solution.
Working in collaboration with the senior SOA project architect, the candidate would:
- Articulate the value of SOA solution in the context of the business strategy.
- Gather and evaluate customer business requirements, identify and document current processes and infrastructure related to the business requirements.
- Assess the client’s readiness for SOA organizationally and technically.
- Define an appropriate roadmap for SOA adoption and governance.
- Determine services and tasks based on the business process model.
- Establish service definitions that satisfy both functional and non-functional requirements.
- Architect the service integration environment and incorporate IBM SOA Foundation and Reference Architectures.
- Articulate architectural/design decisions.
- Apply existing best practices and technology standards for SOA and services design in the solution implementation.
- Provide guidance and review for SOA implementation, deployment and management.
The Complete Solution
SOA provides business solutions, which require applications and middleware to make the solutions viable. An SOA solution uses development tools, application integration, Web services, network services, portals and collaborative capabilities. IBM software platforms can provide the components needed for a complete SOA solution. The Professional Certification Program from IBM can provide certification in the key areas for a successful SOA.
WebSphere is the first step in achieving an effective SOA. IBM WebSphere software is designed to enable on-demand flexibility through integration and infrastructure capabilities and can allow a business to realize the value of SOA.
IBM WebSphere Certification provides a comprehensive range of certified roles to complement the new SOA certification. The WebSphere certification portfolio covers application servers, software development, commerce and business integration.
The IBM Rational Software Development Platform helps companies transition to a business-driven development environment for SOA. Rational software is designed to provide tools and process guidance to simplify and accelerate business-process modeling and the design, construction and assembly of service-oriented applications.
IBM Rational Certification provides a full set of certifications for developers in areas such as design, development, testing and debugging.
The IBM Workplace strategy empowers people to collaborate and be more productive while enabling businesses to gain significant benefits throughout the SOA lifecycle. IBM Workplace can extend the value of existing investments while providing a new, flexible way to build applications.
IBM Lotus Certification includes certifications for developer and administrator tracks in IBM Lotus Notes and Domino, IBM Workplace and IBM WebSphere Portal.
Creating highly manageable SOA infrastructures and services applications is a Tivoli focus. IBM Tivoli Certification has a robust portfolio of certifications for IT professionals who administer or deploy Tivoli systems management and security solutions. These are certified roles needed to support an SOA environment.
Information management provides a means to represent, access, maintain, manage, analyze and integrate data and content across heterogeneous information sources. IBM Information Management Certification covers both the data and content aspects of information management. There are certified roles for designers, developers and administrators across DB2, content management, business intelligence and information integration, providing the added value information brings to SOA.
Professional Certification Program
A value IBM Professional Certification provides is the broad range of certifications available. The depth and breadth of the certification program provides a strong foundation to build upon.
IBM SOA certification plans to build upon the established foundation. This new certification offers the first opportunity for certification in SOA design practices on IBM software