ADP uses SOA to quickly and cost-effectively create new services to sell to customers.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

September 8, 2006

2 Min Read

ADP's SOA comprises six functions:

>> Common user experience. A single user interface provides a common look, feel, and behavior for its employers' services offerings.

>> Single secure-identity services. Lets users gain access to a number of programs with a single password. The use of Security Assertion Markup Language, an XML standard, lets customers gain access to ADP apps from their own systems.

>> Secured data gateway. ADP offers customers and other business partners a secure gateway for the exchange of data, whether it's between machines or between users and machines.

>> Highly configurable portal. Provides a common entry point to access ADP and third-party products. Individual ADP products function as portlets--small windows of content appearing on users' screens--that extensively employ Web services between the portal and back-end legacy systems, such as the registration of a new employee.

>> Central message hub. Designed using Open Applications Group standards and employing IBM MQSeries middleware, the hub effectively synchronizes information from various databases, such as data on an employee who might be identified in one database by first name and last name, but in another database by first initial and last name.

>> Common reporting services. Uses a real-time extract, transform, and load tool and an internally built data catalog that generates reports with a common look and feel throughout the enterprise. Users open a tab in the portal to select the data to be reported.

As SOA makes business processes become more easily automated, contact between services supplier and customer will take place less often with a handshake or phone call from sales personnel and more often through the portal interface on a desktop, with an icon initiating the services. Little wonder that IT managers must have a greater understanding of the customer. "Technology has evolved where it's the face to the customer in many businesses," Bongiorno says. "That changes the opportunity to where the CIO, being closer to technology, can find a new business opportunity because he's the guy who is touching the customer."

It's that type of attitude that explains why ADP is among the upper echelon of business technology users.

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