This paper draws attention to the increasing need for agile and adaptive software environments that are capable of supporting rapid re-planning during the execution of time-critical operations involving commercial end-to-end supply chain transaction sequences, as well as disaster response and military missions. It is argued that such environments are currently best served by information-centric software tools executing within a service-oriented paradigm. Service-oriented architecture (SOA) design concepts and principles are described, with a focus on the functions of the services management framework (SMF) and enterprise service bus (ESB) components. Differentiating between data-centric and information-centric services, it is suggested that only intelligent software services, particularly those that incorporate an internal representation of context in the form of an ontology and agents with reasoning capabilities, are able to effectively address the need for agile and adaptive planning, re-planning and decision-support tools.
The paper concludes with a description of the design components of a business process management (BPM) system operating within a SOA-based infrastructure, followed by a brief discussion of Cloud computing promises and potential user concerns.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jpohl/90/