For an example of a simple example of an SOA implementation, I would recommend the ING case study published at the SOA Magazine at: http://www.soamag.com/I2/1106-1.asp. With regards to your second question, the more you know before embarking on an SOA initiative the better off you are. If you have absolute clarity about how SOA can and should exist in your environment and what requirements and constraints you will need to accommodate, then you will be able to set realistic goals and put together an effective transition plan for achieving those goals. These steps will dramatically lower the risk of taking the SOA project in the wrong direction. Based on my experience, this clarity comes from an understanding of the service-orientation design paradigm because that is what will give you a clear picture of what it means for something to be considered truly "service-oriented." When your solution logic is consistently designed and delivered as "true" services, you maximize your chances of realizing the strategic goals and benefits associated with SOA and service-oriented computing. Finally, the major vendors currently providing mainstream SOA platforms include IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Sun, and BEA.
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