Understanding Enterprise SOA

Eric Pulier and Hugh Taylor
Foreword by Paul Gaffney

November 2005 | 280 pages | B&W
ISBN: 9781932394597

$39.95 Softbound print + PDF eBook
$31.99 eBook edition (PDF only)


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Finalist, 2006 IPPY Awards, Computer/Internet books
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"SOA is real ... Pulier is uniquely qualified to make [it] accessible to the general business audience." - Paul Gaffney, Staples, Inc., From the Foreword

"Brings to life interconnected SOA business and technology concerns." - Deborah Blackwell, Disney ABC Cable Networks Group

"It has made my life easier." - Loly Hlade, Countrywide Financial Corporation

"An incredibly useful case study, a compelling read." - Jason Bloomberg, Senior Analyst, Zapthink

Understanding Enterprise SOA gives technologists and business people an invaluable and until now missing integrated picture of the issues and their interdependencies. You will learn how to think in a big way, moving confidently between technology- and business-level concerns. Written in a comfortable, mentoring style by two industry insiders, the book draws conclusions from actual experiences of real companies in diverse industries, from manufacturing to genome research. It cuts through vendor hype and shows you what it really takes to get SOA to work.

Intended for both business people and technologists, the book reviews core SOA technologies and uncovers the critical human factors involved in deploying them. You will see how enterprise SOA changes the terrain of EAI, B2B commerce, business process management, "real time" operations, and enterprise software development in general.

What's Inside


Eric Pulier is a pioneer in the software and digital interactive industries. A frequent public speaker at technology conferences around the world, Eric has helped establish cutting-edge technology companies in media management, professional services, voice systems, and peer-to-peer networking. Hugh Taylor is an SOA marketing executive who writes, teaches, and promotes the business value of SOA and web services to major companies. The authors live in Los Angeles, California.


Over the past decade we have seen big improvements in productivity: in most sectors of the economy, people are doing more for less. Factory workers produce widgets faster, service workers solve problems more quickly, banks even clear checks faster. The process of integrating business software applications, however, has resisted this productivity trend: it seems just as slow and unproductive as ever to make one piece of software talk to another. Any promises of a silver bullet to solve integration problems sound like one of those hand-waving vendor fantasies that promise the moon but deliver the marsh.

I have worked in the business process and technology areas for several large companies including KMart, Office Depot, Charles Schwab, and Staples. In roles as diverse as head of a large direct-marketing organization (with a significant web-based business), CIO of one of the world’s largest specialty retailers, or head of a multi-billion dollar global supply chain, I have seen millions of dollars spent integrating between modern and legacy systems and between internal and external applications. Until recently, it was impossible to improve the return on those investments or the certainty with which those investments might pay off. I believe the technology for solving those problems is finally here. It is a broad and complex subject called Enterprise Services-Oriented Architecture (SOA). Until recently, the subject was accessible only to the high priests of technology. I am excited that Eric Pulier has set out in this book to make the concept accessible to the general business audience.

I’ve known Eric Pulier for many years and have watched him build companies that helped solve large systems integration problems; he is uniquely qualified to deliver the SOA message. We both believe in the power of SOA and have worked together to deploy it in a variety of business settings. Unlike many other technology promises, SOA is real, the result of decades of evolution toward more agile and cost-effective enterprises. It requires a number of pieces of new technology infrastructure and, thankfully, the software market is providing those tools. More importantly, it requires business people to change the way they think about interactions among business processes; this book helps business people understand how to change that thinking.

Enterprise SOA is a subject that, by its very nature, cuts across a variety of disciplines and functional specialties, both in IT and in business. Opening up enterprise systems using the new standards is both exciting and challenging—it can be difficult to know where to start. This book takes a generalized approach that makes this subject matter understandable to a broad range of readers. At the same time, it is technical enough to be relevant for those who have to work with technologists to get the job done.

I will use this book to help drive even more use of services to increase productivity. And I hope that you too will find this book useful in taking your applications and business processes to the next level of productivity.

Paul Gaffney
Executive Vice President
Supply Chain
Staples, Inc.