Monday, August 27, 2007

SOA and web services for medical and government applications

[Rosie Lombardi is a journalist has a very good web site on SOA for government applications. I particularly like her recent articles in Government CIO magazine. A good example is how SOA web services is used by Government Alberta to link various databases to track down dead beat dads -- BSA]

CIO Government Review on SOA

Rosie Lombardi's web site

Using SOA and web services to track down dead beat dads

[Some excerpts from original article--BSA]

In 2005, the Alberta Ministry of Justice deployed a SOA-based enhancement to its maintenance enforcement program (MEP), driven by new legislation enacted the year before. Dubbed "Deadbeat Dad" legislation, the Ministry was concerned with finding ways to track and enforce adherence to court orders by withholding access to government services, explains Stuart Charlton, enterprise architect at BEA Systems Inc. in Toronto. "So if someone doesn't pay child support, they might suspend their driver's licence."

As in other provinces, Alberta's ministries and government departments are far from integrated. Tracking thousands of these MEP cases over time, sometimes more than 10 years, and building in the triggers for enforcement actions based on patterns of misbehaviour was a major system undertaking within the Justice Ministry. But developing processes to ensure actions are executed by a multitude of external ministries would have been a monumental inter-departmental undertaking.

Instead of labour-intensive back-and-forth between multiple departments - phoning, faxing, exchanging forms and information - the Ministry of Justice used Web services to automate the workflow.
A producer posts the services it has made available for common use - for example, an application that identifies an Albertan as an MEP case - through an electronic interface based on SOA standards, which can be used by any authorized consumer using the same Web-based technology. All the various conditions for an exchange between departments, including exceptions that require human judgement, are agreed and scripted in advance.

A Collaborative Orthopaedic Research Environment.

The role of collaboration in scientific and scholarly research is changing due to advances in Web technology. In particular, the need for collaborative science has generated demands for working environments that facilitate human communication and resource sharing among research communities. The Collaborative Orthopaedic Research Environment (CORE) project provides an infrastructure that combines clinical, educational and research activities in a Virtual Research Environment (VRE) for orthopaedic researchers to collaborate in the design, analysis, and dissemination of experiments. An overview of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) concepts is presented in this report before moving on to discuss the benefits and rationale of using a SOA in the context of the CORE project. A user requirements study conducted to guide the authors in designing the CORE VRE is also reported.