Sunday, February 05, 2006

Snowboarding SOA

I've just spent rather a nice weekend in Whistler after meeting with Duane, chair of the SOA-RM group, and clearly I'm thinking too much about Services because to me a resort is great example of non-IT SOA in action.

Firstly of course you have the whole domain, the overall service that is being provided. Within this there are two dependent services that are offered, namely lifts and runs. Runs come in two flavours namely "on" and "off-piste". Lifts come in a few flavours but all contain a number of identical sub-services, for example the chairs. People can also bring their own capabilities which include the ability to hike between (or most often out of) runs. The lifts link with different runs, and runs link to different lifts, creating dependencies between the services (for instance there are a whole heap of runs that rely on the Harmony Chair being open).

The consumers of the lifts and pistes have a certain expectation of service (does the Emerald Chair always have those problems?) and have an SLA which for the lifts is the amount of people it can shift up the mountain. You pay a subscription to the resort in order to use the various services, at some places this may limit the number of service instances (lifts) you can access. In general the resort, its lifts and the runs are exactly the services that boarders come to enjoy.

Whistler... its the SOA boarding venue of choice.

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