SOA needs more management: Queensland Transport

Queensland's ambitious, Smart State Queensland (SSQ) Web services project will succeed if more focus goes on management than on ROI, according to a senior government IT strategist.

Queensland Transport's (QT) IT innovation and planning unit leader Sam Higgins, believes if the management "exercise" is ignored then Web services projects will suffer.

"The thing that bothers me is that we've gone through four years of learning to work out that you can't just be doing all of this integration and service activity without any management," Higgins told Computerworld. Higgins said although the Department of Communities which owns the project "sunk all this dough into this exercise" the business case still comes out OK and the ROI is still there.

QT has a long history with SOAs dating back to 1999 with EDI over HTTP and during development of the $60 million Transport Registration Integrated Licensing System, or TRAILS, Higgins said, every business person IT spoke to said "we need to do business where it happens, not just in customer service areas".

"The evolution for us to Web services began with the realization that the technology we were using was not the best [and] Web services offered a neat solution to a lot of the problems we were facing," he said. "After Y2K, we rolled out our first XML-RPC based Web service in 2002. Then we upgraded our DAIS (Dealer Agency Interface System) environment in 2003 and threw away all the problems we had with EDI."

SSQ is now in preproduction testing and going through final audit.

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