Government Computer News features a profile on Washington, D.C.’s adoption of SOA using Sonic ESB
While this article talks about having ubiquitous access to property information for housing inspectors and tax purposes, the broader DCStat program also encompasses an emergency response system for the city of DC and the surrounding areas.
A common characteristic of organizations adopting ESB is that they have disparate datacenters that need to operate autonomously, yet work together in a larger federated environment. Sonic’s vision of an ESB is that it should be designed to support this scenario, and to even allow the creation of process flows that can seamlessly span the physical locations across IT boundaries. The city of DC fits very well into this use case. There are 66 unique “lines of business” within the city of DC which all have their own way of doing things in their own IT datacenters.
What they needed was a common Services Bus to span those 66 departments and allow the applications to integrate into the SOA using the interface technology and protocol that is most appropriate for each platform — be it web services, ftp, specialized adapters, file pickup, etc.
Seeing this article got me thinking, and I looked at one of their presentations that they presented publicly at the last InfoWorld SOA executive Forum conference where they showed their vision for an ESB and listed the capabilities that they need for it -
There are currently 3 projects that I know of that have been implemented - 1) The property information app mentioned in the article 2) An emergency response system that links together 911 call centers all around the DC area, doing pattern detection to look for things that could indicate a terrorist activity 3) Reducing crime rates by better linking together and providing visibility into call center reports for abandoned vehicles. Once the system was in place they reportedly discovered over a thousand around the city, that were being used a based of operations for drug dealers.
In order to implement these three very different projects, they needed a common infrastructure in support of their SOA that was capable of being brought into each of the IT departments, easily integratable with whatever is there, and also capable of seamlessly linking into the other ESB nodes in other data centers to form a broader SOA backbone.