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Data Services

March 08, 2010 0 Comments

In this podcast Rob Steward explains what data services are, and why are organizations evolving towards a data services approach.

Rob:

Data services are just that: any type of service that provides data.  It might be a Web service, it might be a method of a Java object.  It doesn’t really matter.  The idea of services are that you call something that provides a service.  A data service is a service that provides data or accesses data in some way, shape, or form.

Why are organizations evolving towards this approach?  Well, there are a couple of reasons why organizations are evolving toward data services.  One is really with the advent of service-oriented architectures (SOA), what’s become really important for IT shops in terms of service-oriented architectures is that they be able to reuse all their services.  And not only are they able to reuse all their services, but they can capture the best practices within those services.  So if I had an expert on accessing data, then if that person writes the services that everybody uses, then I can capture those best practices that that expert knows within that data service.  So, one, capturing the best practices, and two, reuse.

As I create those data services then I can have multiple applications use those same services.  Now, what Progress is offering in the data service area is we have a couple of different products within the same solution.  One we’ve talked about several times, the data services platform or data virtualization server, which enables you to very easily create those services that access your data and allow you to access your data in real-time, and allow you to do federation across multiple sources as well as transactional updates to the data on the back-end.  But again, it easily enables you to access that data and it enables your data architect to do it in a way that uses the best practices, and your programmers to do it in a way that encapsulates those best practices.

In addition to capturing those best practices and the reuse of the services, data services allows your data experts to be able to write all that data-access code that your organization may use.  Typically, large organizations have groups of people who handle the data access.  They may be data architects, they may be programmers who know the data or know the data infrastructure.  What data services is allowing companies to do is to write a universal access layer that they can then use throughout all the groups within the programming organization, and that gives them a centralized platform from which to access all their data.  It gives them some governance and control in addition to reuse and best practices.

Again, the governance, the control, being able to put your data experts on your data access code -- that’s why we see a lot of organizations moving towards this data services concept and starting to use data services within their enterprise.

Rob Steward

View all posts from Rob Steward on the Progress blog. Connect with us about all things application development and deployment, data integration and digital business.

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