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Archive for the ‘Autonomous Services’ Category



Space-Based Architecture – scalable, but not much to do with SOA

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

Space-Based Architecture (or SBA for short) just might be in your future if your building large-scale distributed systems. By focusing on high-throughput and low latency, SBA joins messaging and in-memory data caching and adds a good measure of load partitioning. However, with the entire industry enamoured with SOA, what place is left for SBA?

Before going too far ahead, you might want to take a look at my previous post “Space-Based Architectural Thinking, or listen to my podcast Space-Based Architecture for the Web. There’s also a 30 minute webcast online describing SBA more fully here. I’m also going to try to stay away from things concerning Jini this time after already discussing the connection between Jini and SOA, and the tradeoffs between two general approaches: Tasks and Spaces vs Message and Handlers.

OK, so the issue of state-management is a big one. Everybody wants to work stateless, because it scales. The only problem is that the business processes that we are automating are long running, meaning that there are external systems or people involved. This makes these processes inherently stateful. So, we need a way to scale statefully – SBA gives us that. For some background on the “Shared Nothing Architecture”, I suggest reading this post on inter-process SOA and this one as well.

Availability also has to be handled, not only in terms of having enough servers online to handle the required load but in having all the data required to process each request be accessible. This has often been handled by the database using ACID transactions – durability being that which solved availability issues, but also hurting latency the most. The problem with saving the state of our long-running business processes/workflows in the database is the load and the responsiveness requirements. In many verticals – telcos, financial, and defense to name a few, we need millisecond level latency on each stage of the workflow. This is what leads SBA to the in-memory, replicated data grid.

Note that SBA only intends to take these workflows out of the database, and not anything else – especially not Master Data. The lifetime of these workflows is incredibly short compared to that of master data like customers and products. It will have much different backup strategies as well. In terms of load, these workflows will be heavy on reads and writes together in the same transactions, but quite low in terms of just reads. If we have workflows that perform work in parallel, we easily end up with concurrency requirements that make DBAs cringe under the barrage of short transactions.

If you’re worried that Workflow Foundation (WF) won’t scale because of the above, you needn’t be. You can (more or less easily) replace the persistence mechanism of WF with your own, saving your workflow instances to an in-memory replicated data grid.

By enabling the objects in the grid to call back into logic on your servers, you have, in essence, done messaging and more. The added benefit that SBA receives from this is a unification of technology between caching and messaging. This translates directly to savings when it comes time to cluster each of those technology’s environments.

Finally, if we can find an attribute in the incoming stream of messages that creates a nice even distribution, we can then partition our load between our servers by that key. This will work up to the point where the load per key increases beyond a single server’s capacity, and then we have to look at re-partitioning, a non-trivial problem. However, if we put objects in our grid that represent the master data, and tie them to our workflow instances with both of those tied to the key of our load, a smart infrastructure can make sure all that data is already resident on the server that is handling that piece of the load. That decreases latency even more since we no longer have to pay network roundtrips to collect all the data needed before we can process it. That’s a substantial advantage for the above verticals.

But all of this has nothing to do with SOA.

Sure, it’ll change how we implement our Services internally, but it has no impact on their interfaces or the top-level service decomposition. In the Java community, the word “service” is often used to describe the logic of a system. Great significance is placed on keeping these “services” simple, as in Plain-Old Java Objects. The fact of the matter is that the logic of the system should be simple and independent of other concerns like data access and communcations (a la Web Services), but that does not make it a service, not in the SOA sense.

For more information on what Services in SOA are like, check out this podcast on Business and Autonomous Components in SOA. Actually, SBA will probably have the biggest impact on the way autonomous components will handle service-level agreements.

So, it appears that even with SOA, SBA has its place. The former dealing with business level agility, the latter dealing with all the technical aspects of supporting that agility. If you’re tasked with the designing the architecture of a scalable, available, high-throughput, low-latency distributed system, I’d strongly advise you to look at SBA – the technical value is overwhelming. Even if you don’t utilize all elements of SBA and choose the Master Worker Pattern instead of load partitioning, you’ll find the technologies supporting SBA to be quite flexible in that respect.

Will Space-Based Architectures be a part of your future? I don’t know for sure, but they’re a most welcome part of my present.



[Podcast] Using Autonomous Components for SLAs in SOA

Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

In this podcast we answer questions about how to use autonomous components to unify disparate building blocks like servers, middleware, and databases in order to handle the technical complexity of complying with detailed service-level agreements. Reuse of business logic, database schemas, and messaging topics between autonomous components are discussed as well.

Download via the Dr. Dobbs’ site.

Or download directly here.

And here’s this week’s question:

Hi Udi,

Thanks again for your continued assistance. I was very much interested by your advice to consolidate each of the services related to each product family into a single service, but as autonomous components.

From your description of autonomous components from a prior podcast, it seems that they are much the same as services – in that they communicate only via loosely coupled messaging, and can have their own databases. Would you say that the main difference between autonomous components is that different autonomous components within a service may in fact share business logic and databases? If so, it would seem that combining these services into a single service with 3 autonomous components would be a matter of definition, rather than an architectural shift. Any information you could provide to clarify this distinction would be fantastic.

Something else that’s been playing on my mind of late – is whether or not you would consider a topic as having to belong to a specific service. That is, would you say it is bad practice to have multiple services publish on a common topic? I suppose if we have multiple services publishing on a common topic, then they should be defined as autonomous components, belonging to a single larger service – in which case that common topic would belong to that new service.

As usual your advice is always extremely helpful. Please keep those podcasts coming!

Best Regards,
Bill

Additional References



[Podcast] Handling Dependencies Between Subscribers in SOA

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

In this podcast we answer questions about how to solve dependencies between systems that subscribe to events in SOA. We’ll also get into the pitfalls of employing distributed transaction when reusing existing systems even behind service boundaries.

Download via the Dr. Dobbs’ site.

Or download directly here.

And the original question was:

Udi:

I have a question regarding publishing events that relate to data changes. I found the article you wrote in the Arch Journal #8 very helpful. I think striving for autonomy is very important. The scenario I was thinking about is how can you ensure synchronization across subscribers of a particular event.

For example, System A publishes an event when customer information is updated. There are several systems that subscribe to this event. Two of the systems, System B and System C, need to be sync regarding customer information. System B uses operations from System C using the customer data. Using your example, System B has a process that runs for all “Preferred Customers”, and it uses processes on System C. However, System C may not have process the event to and may have a customer as preferred.

I have several thoughts, but would like to get your thoughts on this scenario. Are there any best practices or patterns?

Phil

Additional References:

You can find more episodes like this in the Ask Udi archives.



.NET/Java Interop is not a reason for SOA

Monday, May 28th, 2007

I see this all too often.

A company has some legacy (read “good”) code in one platform (let’s just use Java for this example). This company has now decided to standardize on the other platform (Microsoft’s happy). The company doesn’t want to throw away and/or rewrite the assets they already have from the previous platform.

What do they do?

Web Services, of course!

Obviously this has to be a part of the “grand” SOA effort currently under way. Here’s a chance to build some reusable services, right?

The only problem is that in order for things to work right, they really must have a chatty interface, and flow transaction context between these “services”, and all the other things I describe as anti-patterns.

So, what’s the solution?

Well, Web Services isn’t the only kind of interop out there. Take a look at what the guys from MainSoft are doing. Not only does it work, it’s been working for years now. You can go the other way too – run .NET code on JVM based application servers. And there are more solutions out there. There’s JNBridge (with some nifty online demos), and EZ JCOM who also do COM interop.

Bottom line, there are good technical solutions out there for reusing and interop-ing with assets from multiple platforms. Therefore, now that we’ve slain the holy cow of interop, there is absolutely no good reason or justification to create tightly coupled services.

Period.



SOA, Intermediation, and Long Running Transactions

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

In Nick Malik’s follow up post The value of intermediation, part 2, he describes “composable services” as follows:

I would suggest that a service, when composable, (a) provides information in a manner that can be readily reused without requiring multiple calls to other services for interpretation, and/or (b) provides functionality that can be executed to produce specific semantics in an encapsulated manner without requiring references to multiple other services and without unknown or undesirable side effects.

I woud state that a service that does not comply with the above “suggestions” is not a service in the SOA sense. I don’t care much for the “composable” or “reusable” qualifiers that are being placed on the term “service”. I believe that it creates fractured definitions that don’t improve understanding.

Nick continues with assertions about the connection between SOA and Canonical Data Models:

I argue, passionately, that a service that does not leverage a Canonical data model (explicit or implicit) is not useful outside a small handful of very specific situations. Such a limited service provides some small benefits, but probably not more than a COM+ component would, and certainly not enough to justify all this interest in SOA. We get no business agility from this kind of service. Therefore, as an Enterprise Architect, you can create it, but I will not use it, nor will I look kindly on another application that does. Poor integration is just barely a half step up from no integration. Some would argue it is a step down.

Just to be clear, a Canonical Data Model is something that exists without dependence on any service. That is why I don’t agree with its use in SOA. Each service has its own message schema which makes use of its own data schema if you will. A data schema is the definition of structures that are used in more than one message type. The service controlls both of these schemas and decides when and how to version them, which versions to support on which endpoints, etc. It’s all part of the service’s autonomy. I’m not quite sure what an implicit canonical data model is.

I’m also unclear as to the “benefit” a service provides. Services are the way we model our business domain – they are therefore a part of our business. In my previous post on intermediation and SOA I gave an example of a Purchasing Service. This service does not really exist to provide something external to it with a “benefit”, it’s an inherent part of the structure of the business, much like the Purchasing Department of the company is. It participates in business processes but is not ruled by them. I really don’t see how you could compare that to any kind of technological component. In that respect, you don’t “use” a service. Neither do you really “integrate” them. Each service decides which processes it needs to be a part of, simply by choosing which events (of the EDA kind) it subscribes to. This leads to a kind of “distributed integration” that maintains service autonomy and has no single point of versioning or failure.

One of the comments quoted includes the statement “Intermediation greatly complicates any message exchange pattern other than request-response and pub-sub”. Like I described in my previous post, intermediation, if it even does occur, occurs behind service boundaries. Between services, you have the basic message exchange patterns of duplex request/response (one way messaging each time, with correlation between them) and pub/sub. You really don’t need anything else, and yesterday’s middleware already handled all of that for us. Most of the advanced ESB functionality isn’t needed between services.

The next example given discusses a banking scenario (well, more of an HR one really), which brings Nick to the following conclusion:

This process is neither pub-sub nor request-response. It is a long-running orchestration with compensating events. The process is NOT complicated by the ability to intermediate.

In fact, I would argue that nearly all valuable long running transactions MUST have the ability to intermediate in order to allow them to be composed, and recomposed, and orchestrated.

Long running anything, is a series of message exchanges that are tied together in some way. This could be as simple as having all the messages contain the same process ID in their body. “Compensating events” are just the result of business logic being run in a service, possibly changing its own state (updating those backend systems and applications), and sending out other messages. If there’s any intermediation of the kind Nick describes, it occurs within a service between its backend systems and applications. He also implicitly states that there is value in composing/orchestrating these “long running transactions”, apparently without having the service be involved. I don’t see it. Not the way I do my services. Once again, each service is responsible for itself – its part of the global “long running transaction”, ie business process. If one service were to choose to implement its cross-application workflows in a hard-coded manner, that should have no impact on any other services, nor should they be aware of it. That service may have been implemented poorly and as a result have difficulty responding to changing business conditions quickly, but that’s its own business. That implementation could easily be upgraded in the future, without changing the overall Service-Oriented Architecture.

Nick’s conclusion follows:

In conclusion, I don’t say that intermediation is a requirement of a service oriented architecture. But I do say that intermediation is a requirement of a service oriented architecture designed to deliver composability, and therefore, business agility.

Mine is a little different. When your SOA is made up of autonomous business-level services, you will have business agility. The implementations of some services may benefit through the use of intermediation, but it is not a top level concern.



[Podcast] How does Extract, Transform, Load fit with SOA?

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

This week’s question comes from Jayan, who asks:

Hi Udi,

I just went through your Blog which talks about not creating entity services, but instead creating a business service. I understood why you would want it to be a business service, although I am still struggling to fully define what a business service is.

Currently what we have requested is to have a single service, extract, transform and load master data. From your explanations it seems like this is a business service and not just an entity one. What one of the sales guys from an SOA company is saying that this is very possible and would be easy to do.. What I wanted to get your perspective is if this is the right thing to do. What we requested is below:

1. To create a business service that will extract, transform and load data (One service for user, one for customer and one for product?)
2. This service will then be called by the different applications we have (3 Java applications, 1 .Net Application and 1 Siebel Application as well as a host of VB/Excel Applications)
3. The service will be calling on different backend sources for data from SAP systems, Access DBs, Excel Files, Web Pages & Oracle Systems

They say that creating this would produce a.) a reusable service and b.) cost savings. Although I am still apprehensive because it seems as you mentioned in your podcast, each system would have slightly different set of rules for the data entity (and btw you are right).. would this still matter? The thing we want to eliminate is the replication of extracting and loading, although each system would transform the data in its own specific way..

Appreciate any perspective that you might have.

Thanks,

Jayan

Get it via the Dr. Dobb’s site here.

Or download directly here.

Additional References

Podcast on Master Data Management and SOA
Podcast on Business and Autonomous Components in SOA



On Intermediation And SOA

Saturday, May 19th, 2007

Nick Malik has an interesting post on The value of intermediation in SOA where he starts out suggesting a couple of books that stand at the basis of much of today’s SOA thinking. I agree that far too few people seem to have read them.

In his previous post Is it service-oriented if the message cannot be intermediated, Nick defines intermediability as “SOA should give us the ability to intercept a message going from point A to point B, and react to that message without informing either end of that pipe.”. I’ll respond to this in due course.

Anyway, he continues on by saying “SOA [is] an architecture for Enterprise Application Integration.”

I can’t agree with that statement. The main reason is that EAI puts the application in the center, and that integrating existing applications one of the primary purposes of it. It is my assertion that in order to solve many of the problems that we are having today, we need to take a broader, business based view of the enterprise and model that with services. A service may be implemented with one or more applications. However, my experience has been that these services tend to use parts of existing applications, with multiple services using different parts of the same application. The reason for this is that the applications we have today, especially the ERP monoliths, do a lot, and at the same time, not everything. This is part of the reality that EAI tried to solve, but then got mired down in cross system hell. You just can’t solve poor business decomposition in the technology domain.

The value of putting services at the fore makes it possible to gradually phase out and evolve legacy applications, and migrate costly mainframe apps bit by bit without having these changes ripple out and break other services. The same is true for those systems’ data – backup strategies are defined at the service level, impacted primarily by their Service-Level Agreements.

While I whole-heartedly agree with what Nick has to say in terms of OO intermediation of the Dependency Injection variety, and that scaling up those same concepts in terms of messaging is the right way to go, I take issue with orchestration in the intermediation area. These “tactical changes” need to be done in the context of the top, business-level service strategy. That means that all logic belongs within a service. The “network” between services is just that, a “dumb” network – no business logic of any kind, just technological capabilities like knowing which physical server to route messages to.

In this spirit, I’d like to suggest an alternative solution to the example Nick gives. Here’s the scenario:

Let’s say that system 1 generates an invoice. It sends an event to the world saying “invoice here” and system 2 captures that message. System 2 asks for details about the invoice… perhaps it will place the information on a web site for internal support teams.

Let’s say that we are moving to a CRM solution in our internal support groups. We want to create the information in the CRM system related to the invoices that specific customers have been issued. We need to integrate these two systems. The existing web app needs to have a link to the CRM system’s data, to allow the user to move across easily.

And here is the solution he prescribes:

We can intercept the request for further information from the web app to the publisher. When the publisher responds with information about the invoice, we can insert the invoice in the CRM system, add a link to the CRM record for that invoice to the data structure, and resume our response to the web app. Assuming that our canonical schema has a field for ‘foreign key’, we have just integrated our CRM and web information portal… without changing either one.

Without getting into the business-level analysis of what the correct service decomposition might be, here’s what I suggest (although all of these “systems” might just end up within the same service, or having parts of them being used by multiple services).

First of all, have all information about the invoice available via the message only. This could be done by actually putting all the invoice data in the message, or by placing a URI instead where other systems can HTTP GET it from – REST style. This decreases coupling between the publisher and its subscribers. However, we haven’t solved the problem of our web apps getting access to the relevant data in the CRM system.

The solution presents itself at the business level. The invoice is not “complete” without the appropriate CRM data. Therefore, it does not make sense for a service to publish it that way. Let’s call this service the Purchasing Service. It would handle the workflow of receiving the first system’s event, adding the invoice to the CRM system, and taking the resulting full invoice data and publishing that. All external systems like the web apps would see just the final event. Orchestration, if there even is such a thing, occurs within the service boundary. This technological level intermedation isn’t even a blip at the business level. We can also imagine other services, say a Sales Service, that would use the CRM system as well.

In summary, when moving to SOA, intermediation provides many technological benefits in getting data and behavior to work across existing systems and applications, however it’s laregly a NO-OP at the service level. After phasing out many of those existing applications behind the service boundaries, the same service-level interactions would persist. Your Service-Oriented Architecture would not be any different. That’s the technical agility aspect of SOA.



Grid computing and SOA

Friday, May 18th, 2007

For a great description of what grid computing really is, read this.

What they say about the connection to SOA, though, requires some clarification. Here’s the quote:

There is a lot of talk going on about synergy between Grid Computing and SOA. It is however driven primarily by implementation concerns at this point rather than by any deeper considerations. Clearly, Grid Computing can deliver unchanged value without SOA, yet WS-* based implementation (such as Globus) can be beneficial in some cases (highly distributed heterogeneous environments that should only exist in unfortunate legacy-support situations).

The main thing that I want to call out is that “grids” don’t cross service boundaries – not at the logical level anyway. Although, even if you did share a single grid infrastructure between services implementations, you may have some problems maintaining service-level agreements, autonomy may be put in danger.

Just something to keep in mind.



Service-Enabled Workflows with WF and WCF

Saturday, May 12th, 2007

I’ve looked over the example Guy put up in his blog on how to interact with external services from a workflow, and tried it out using asynchronous APIs with WCF. This is done quite simply by having our service accept an object as a parameter that it can call methods on (which has availability issues, but whatever). The object that we pass in is quite simply a reference to our own service. Anyway, I haven’t been able to get the SendActivity in WF to work with it. Bummer. I guess I’m “stuck” doing things the “old fashioned” way.

By having messages dealing with workflow contain the ID of the specific instance they refer to, we can do simple message to workflow mapping. When a message handler receives a message containing a workflow ID, it just goes to the workflow store and retrieves the object by its ID. Finally, it calls the Handle method on that object, and I’m done. Workflow classes are just state machines whose triggers are the arrival of a message.

Here’s some example code so you can see how simple it really is:

public class WorkflowMessageHandler : IMessageHandler<Stage1Msg>
{
	public void Handle(Stage1Msg msg)
	{
		using (IDBScope scope = this.DbServices.GetScope(TransactionOption.On))
		{
			IWorkflow wf = this.DbServices.Get(msg.WorkFlowID);
			wf.Handle(msg);

			scope.Complete();
		}
	}
}

You can see how easy it would be to take this and make it generic. Just define an IWorkflowMessage that inherits from IMessage and has a single property – WorkFlowID. Then we could have a BaseWorkflowMessageHandler<T> which would inherit from IMessageHandler<T> where T : IWorkflowMessage.

After that, it would be enough to have a class inherit from the base for a specific message and you’d be done, just like this:

public class Stage1Message : IWorkflowMessage { // WorkFlowID and other data };

public class WorkflowMessageHandler : BaseWorkflowMessageHandler<Stage1Msg> {}

I could even automate the creation of these message handlers given the set of messages that correspond to a workflow. I could then create all sorts of sexy designers on top of that.

But, seeing as there’s so little extra code to get long-running workflows to work with “asynchronous services”, I don’t think I’ll bother. I mean, why do I even need a “SendActivity”? It’s just a simple little call:

this.Bus.Send(msg);

It appears that clean designs don’t leave much to be draggy-dropped. Oh well. Your mileage may vary.



Autonomous Components and the Actor Model

Friday, May 11th, 2007

Patrick Logan asks about the Actor Model (see here for its definition).

Is the actor model on the list of foundational topics in CS programs today?

Is the actor model about “objects”? Why or why not?

Is the actor model relevant today? Why or why not?

Are today’s systems becoming more or becoming less like actor systems? Why or why not?

Here are my answers:

If the actor model isn’t in CS programs, it damn well should be.

I don’t think that the actor model is about objects, as I think it would obscure their relevance.

I think that the actor model is relevant today. I use it all the time. I just call them autonomous components. The only difference is that autonomous components don’t create other autonomous components.

Once again, I think that systems today can be modeled very well with actors – especially when it comes to systems that want to efficiently use multi-core CPUs.

What do you think?



   


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Udi Dahan is the real deal.

We brought him on site to give our development staff the 5-day “Advanced Distributed System Design” training. The course profoundly changed our understanding and approach to SOA and distributed systems.

Consider some of the evidence: 1. Months later, developers still make allusions to concepts learned in the course nearly every day 2. One of our developers went home and made her husband (a developer at another company) sign up for the course at a subsequent date/venue 3. Based on what we learned, we’ve made constant improvements to our architecture that have helped us to adapt to our ever changing business domain at scale and speed If you have the opportunity to receive the training, you will make a substantial paradigm shift.

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“When we were faced with a task of creating a high performance server for a video-tele conferencing domain we decided to opt for a stateless cluster with SQL server approach. In order to confirm our decision we invited Udi.

After carefully listening for 2 hours he said: "With your kind of high availability and performance requirements you don’t want to go with stateless architecture."

One simple sentence saved us from implementing a wrong product and finding that out after years of development. No matter whether our former decisions were confirmed or altered, it gave us great confidence to move forward relying on the experience, industry best-practices and time-proven techniques that Udi shared with us.
It was a distinct pleasure and a unique opportunity to learn from someone who is among the best at what he does.”

Jack Van Hoof Jack Van Hoof, Enterprise Integration Architect at Dutch Railways
“Udi is a respected visionary on SOA and EDA, whose opinion I most of the time (if not always) highly agree with. The nice thing about Udi is that he is able to explain architectural concepts in terms of practical code-level examples.”

Neil Robbins Neil Robbins, Applications Architect at Brit Insurance
“Having followed Udi's blog and other writings for a number of years I attended Udi's two day course on 'Loosely Coupled Messaging with NServiceBus' at SkillsMatter, London.

I would strongly recommend this course to anyone with an interest in how to develop IT systems which provide immediate and future fitness for purpose. An influential and innovative thought leader and practitioner in his field, Udi demonstrates and shares a phenomenally in depth knowledge that proves his position as one of the premier experts in his field globally.

The course has enhanced my knowledge and skills in ways that I am able to immediately apply to provide benefits to my employer. Additionally though I will be able to build upon what I learned in my 2 days with Udi and have no doubt that it will only enhance my future career.

I cannot recommend Udi, and his courses, highly enough.”

Nick Malik Nick Malik, Enterprise Architect at Microsoft Corporation
You are an excellent speaker and trainer, Udi, and I've had the fortunate experience of having attended one of your presentations. I believe that you are a knowledgable and intelligent man.”

Sean Farmar Sean Farmar, Chief Technical Architect at Candidate Manager Ltd
“Udi has provided us with guidance in system architecture and supports our implementation of NServiceBus in our core business application.

He accompanied us in all stages of our development cycle and helped us put vision into real life distributed scalable software. He brought fresh thinking, great in depth of understanding software, and ongoing support that proved as valuable and cost effective.

Udi has the unique ability to analyze the business problem and come up with a simple and elegant solution for the code and the business alike.
With Udi's attention to details, and knowledge we avoided pit falls that would cost us dearly.”

Børge Hansen Børge Hansen, Architect Advisor at Microsoft
“Udi delivered a 5 hour long workshop on SOA for aspiring architects in Norway. While keeping everyone awake and excited Udi gave us some great insights and really delivered on making complex software challenges simple. Truly the software simplist.”

Motty Cohen, SW Manager at KorenTec Technologies
“I know Udi very well from our mutual work at KorenTec. During the analysis and design of a complex, distributed C4I system - where the basic concepts of NServiceBus start to emerge - I gained a lot of "Udi's hours" so I can surely say that he is a professional, skilled architect with fresh ideas and unique perspective for solving complex architecture challenges. His ideas, concepts and parts of the artifacts are the basis of several state-of-the-art C4I systems that I was involved in their architecture design.”

Aaron Jensen Aaron Jensen, VP of Engineering at Eleutian Technology
Awesome. Just awesome.

We’d been meaning to delve into messaging at Eleutian after multiple discussions with and blog posts from Greg Young and Udi Dahan in the past. We weren’t entirely sure where to start, how to start, what tools to use, how to use them, etc. Being able to sit in a room with Udi for an entire week while he described exactly how, why and what he does to tackle a massive enterprise system was invaluable to say the least.

We now have a much better direction and, more importantly, have the confidence we need to start introducing these powerful concepts into production at Eleutian.”

Gad Rosenthal Gad Rosenthal, Department Manager at Retalix
“A thinking person. Brought fresh and valuable ideas that helped us in architecting our product. When recommending a solution he supports it with evidence and detail so you can successfully act based on it. Udi's support "comes on all levels" - As the solution architect through to the detailed class design. Trustworthy!”

Chris Bilson Chris Bilson, Developer at Russell Investment Group
“I had the pleasure of attending a workshop Udi led at the Seattle ALT.NET conference in February 2009. I have been reading Udi's articles and listening to his podcasts for a long time and have always looked to him as a source of advice on software architecture.
When I actually met him and talked to him I was even more impressed. Not only is Udi an extremely likable person, he's got that rare gift of being able to explain complex concepts and ideas in a way that is easy to understand.
All the attendees of the workshop greatly appreciate the time he spent with us and the amazing insights into service oriented architecture he shared with us.”

Alexey Shestialtynov Alexey Shestialtynov, Senior .Net Developer at Candidate Manager
“I met Udi at Candidate Manager where he was brought in part-time as a consultant to help the company make its flagship product more scalable. For me, even after 30 years in software development, working with Udi was a great learning experience. I simply love his fresh ideas and architecture insights.
As we all know it is not enough to be armed with best tools and technologies to be successful in software - there is still human factor involved. When, as it happens, the project got in trouble, management asked Udi to step into a leadership role and bring it back on track. This he did in the span of a month. I can only wish that things had been done this way from the very beginning.
I look forward to working with Udi again in the future.”

Christopher Bennage Christopher Bennage, President at Blue Spire Consulting, Inc.
“My company was hired to be the primary development team for a large scale and highly distributed application. Since these are not necessarily everyday requirements, we wanted to bring in some additional expertise. We chose Udi because of his blogging, podcasting, and speaking. We asked him to to review our architectural strategy as well as the overall viability of project.
I was very impressed, as Udi demonstrated a broad understanding of the sorts of problems we would face. His advice was honest and unbiased and very pragmatic. Whenever I questioned him on particular points, he was able to backup his opinion with real life examples. I was also impressed with his clarity and precision. He was very careful to untangle the meaning of words that might be overloaded or otherwise confusing. While Udi's hourly rate may not be the cheapest, the ROI is undoubtedly a deal. I would highly recommend consulting with Udi.”

Robert Lewkovich, Product / Development Manager at Eggs Overnight
“Udi's advice and consulting were a huge time saver for the project I'm responsible for. The $ spent were well worth it and provided me with a more complete understanding of nServiceBus and most importantly in helping make the correct architectural decisions earlier thereby reducing later, and more expensive, rework.”

Ray Houston Ray Houston, Director of Development at TOPAZ Technologies
“Udi's SOA class made me smart - it was awesome.

The class was very well put together. The materials were clear and concise and Udi did a fantastic job presenting it. It was a good mixture of lecture, coding, and question and answer. I fully expected that I would be taking notes like crazy, but it was so well laid out that the only thing I wrote down the entire course was what I wanted for lunch. Udi provided us with all the lecture materials and everyone has access to all of the samples which are in the nServiceBus trunk.

Now I know why Udi is the "Software Simplist." I was amazed to find that all the code and solutions were indeed very simple. The patterns that Udi presented keep things simple by isolating complexity so that it doesn't creep into your day to day code. The domain code looks the same if it's running in a single process or if it's running in 100 processes.”

Ian Cooper Ian Cooper, Team Lead at Beazley
“Udi is one of the leaders in the .Net development community, one of the truly smart guys who do not just get best architectural practice well enough to educate others but drives innovation. Udi consistently challenges my thinking in ways that make me better at what I do.”

Liron Levy, Team Leader at Rafael
“I've met Udi when I worked as a team leader in Rafael. One of the most senior managers there knew Udi because he was doing superb architecture job in another Rafael project and he recommended bringing him on board to help the project I was leading.
Udi brought with him fresh solutions and invaluable deep architecture insights. He is an authority on SOA (service oriented architecture) and this was a tremendous help in our project.
On the personal level - Udi is a great communicator and can persuade even the most difficult audiences (I was part of such an audience myself..) by bringing sound explanations that draw on his extensive knowledge in the software business. Working with Udi was a great learning experience for me, and I'll be happy to work with him again in the future.”

Adam Dymitruk Adam Dymitruk, Director of IT at Apara Systems
“I met Udi for the first time at DevTeach in Montreal back in early 2007. While Udi is usually involved in SOA subjects, his knowledge spans all of a software development company's concerns. I would not hesitate to recommend Udi for any company that needs excellent leadership, mentoring, problem solving, application of patterns, implementation of methodologies and straight out solution development.
There are very few people in the world that are as dedicated to their craft as Udi is to his. At ALT.NET Seattle, Udi explained many core ideas about SOA. The team that I brought with me found his workshop and other talks the highlight of the event and provided the most value to us and our organization. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to recommend him.”

Eytan Michaeli Eytan Michaeli, CTO Korentec
“Udi was responsible for a major project in the company, and as a chief architect designed a complex multi server C4I system with many innovations and excellent performance.”


Carl Kenne Carl Kenne, .Net Consultant at Dotway AB
“Udi's session "DDD in Enterprise apps" was truly an eye opener. Udi has a great ability to explain complex enterprise designs in a very comprehensive and inspiring way. I've seen several sessions on both DDD and SOA in the past, but Udi puts it in a completly new perspective and makes us understand what it's all really about. If you ever have a chance to see any of Udi's sessions in the future, take it!”

Avi Nehama, R&D Project Manager at Retalix
“Not only that Udi is a briliant software architecture consultant, he also has remarkable abilities to present complex ideas in a simple and concise manner, and...
always with a smile. Udi is indeed a top-league professional!”

Ben Scheirman Ben Scheirman, Lead Developer at CenterPoint Energy
“Udi is one of those rare people who not only deeply understands SOA and domain driven design, but also eloquently conveys that in an easy to grasp way. He is patient, polite, and easy to talk to. I'm extremely glad I came to his workshop on SOA.”

Scott C. Reynolds Scott C. Reynolds, Director of Software Engineering at CBLPath
“Udi is consistently advancing the state of thought in software architecture, service orientation, and domain modeling.
His mastery of the technologies and techniques is second to none, but he pairs that with a singular ability to listen and communicate effectively with all parties, technical and non, to help people arrive at context-appropriate solutions. Every time I have worked with Udi, or attended a talk of his, or just had a conversation with him I have come away from it enriched with new understanding about the ideas discussed.”

Evgeny-Hen Osipow, Head of R&D at PCLine
“Udi has helped PCLine on projects by implementing architectural blueprints demonstrating the value of simple design and code.”

Rhys Campbell Rhys Campbell, Owner at Artemis West
“For many years I have been following the works of Udi. His explanation of often complex design and architectural concepts are so cleanly broken down that even the most junior of architects can begin to understand these concepts. These concepts however tend to typify the "real world" problems we face daily so even the most experienced software expert will find himself in an "Aha!" moment when following Udi teachings.
It was a pleasure to finally meet Udi in Seattle Alt.Net OpenSpaces 2008, where I was pleasantly surprised at how down-to-earth and approachable he was. His depth and breadth of software knowledge also became apparent when discussion with his peers quickly dove deep in to the problems we current face. If given the opportunity to work with or recommend Udi I would quickly take that chance. When I think .Net Architecture, I think Udi.”

Sverre Hundeide Sverre Hundeide, Senior Consultant at Objectware
“Udi had been hired to present the third LEAP master class in Oslo. He is an well known international expert on enterprise software architecture and design, and is the author of the open source messaging framework nServiceBus. The entire class was based on discussion and interaction with the audience, and the only Power Point slide used was the one showing the agenda.
He started out with sketching a naive traditional n-tier application (big ball of mud), and based on suggestions from the audience we explored different solutions which might improve the solution. Whatever suggestions we threw at him, he always had a thoroughly considered answer describing pros and cons with the suggested solution. He obviously has a lot of experience with real world enterprise SOA applications.”

Raphaël Wouters Raphaël Wouters, Owner/Managing Partner at Medinternals
“I attended Udi's excellent course 'Advanced Distributed System Design with SOA and DDD' at Skillsmatter. Few people can truly claim such a high skill and expertise level, present it using a pragmatic, concrete no-nonsense approach and still stay reachable.”

Nimrod Peleg Nimrod Peleg, Lab Engineer at Technion IIT
“One of the best programmers and software engineer I've ever met, creative, knows how to design and implemet, very collaborative and finally - the applications he designed implemeted work for many years without any problems!

Jose Manuel Beas
“When I attended Udi's SOA Workshop, then it suddenly changed my view of what Service Oriented Architectures were all about. Udi explained complex concepts very clearly and created a very productive discussion environment where all the attendees could learn a lot. I strongly recommend hiring Udi.”

Daniel Jin Daniel Jin, Senior Lead Developer at PJM Interconnection
“Udi is one of the top SOA guru in the .NET space. He is always eager to help others by sharing his knowledge and experiences. His blog articles often offer deep insights and is a invaluable resource. I highly recommend him.”

Pasi Taive Pasi Taive, Chief Architect at Tieto
“I attended both of Udi's "UI Composition Key to SOA Success" and "DDD in Enterprise Apps" sessions and they were exceptionally good. I will definitely participate in his sessions again. Udi is a great presenter and has the ability to explain complex issues in a manner that everyone understands.”

Eran Sagi, Software Architect at HP
“So far, I heard about Service Oriented architecture all over. Everyone mentions it – the big buzz word. But, when I actually asked someone for what does it really mean, no one managed to give me a complete satisfied answer. Finally in his excellent course “Advanced Distributed Systems”, I got the answers I was looking for. Udi went over the different motivations (principles) of Services Oriented, explained them well one by one, and showed how each one could be technically addressed using NService bus. In his course, Udi also explain the way of thinking when coming to design a Service Oriented system. What are the questions you need to ask yourself in order to shape your system, place the logic in the right places for best Service Oriented system.

I would recommend this course for any architect or developer who deals with distributed system, but not only. In my work we do not have a real distributed system, but one PC which host both the UI application and the different services inside, all communicating via WCF. I found that many of the architecture principles and motivations of SOA apply for our system as well. Enough that you have SW partitioned into components and most of the principles becomes relevant to you as well. Bottom line – an excellent course recommended to any SW Architect, or any developer dealing with distributed system.”

Consult with Udi

Guest Authored Books
Chapter: Introduction to SOA    Article: The Enterprise Service Bus and Your SOA

97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know



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