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Monday, July 12, 2010

E-GOVERNMENT -SERVICE ORIENTED ARCHITECTURE (c)

3 . Afternoon session

(CONTINUED FROM  25/05/10,clicking on the title you are redirected)

The afternoon session presentations related to SOA in eGovernment practice

and consisted of six presentations.

3.1 Service-Oriented e-Processing and Case Management of  Law Violation

Mr Oliver Ziehm, CSC presented the service-oriented eProcessing and case

management of law violations. The use of SOA in the eJustice system for law

violations processing in the German federal state of Hessen shows how

current modernisation goals of public administration can be reached by

applying SOA-based information technology principles.

The solution significantly accelerates a multi-agency process; reduces the

corresponding cost and sets up the preconditions for IT-driven administrative

modernisation. The approach is process-driven, combining service orientation,

legacy service integration, business process management and enterprise

content management. The solution is distributed and completely paperless.

eJustice SOA is not restricted to law violations; the solution blueprint is

applicable to a wide range of multi-organisational integration problems.

eJustice SOA is a recipient of the 2009 CSC Chairman’s Award.

The objectives of eJustice SOA were to introduce electronic legal relations for

law violations in the German state of Hessen, to introduce multi-department,

multi-agency, electronic collaboration, and to modernise judicial processing by  introducing fundamental techniques. Such techniques include Enterprise


content management (ECM), Business Process management (BPM), and

Application systems integration.

In addition, the system accelerates the process avoiding transport of paper

files between and within agencies and data re-entry, reduces cost by the

abolishment of paperwork and reduces revenue loss as a result of expired

cases.

It is important to note that the system crosses the hierarchical structure of

administrative organisations and at the same time complying with some of the

strongest legal principles of the German constitution, i.e., the autonomy of

involved agencies and the independence of the judges who can veto the

process.

The eJustice SOA has been in production since March 2007. It has been used

in 3 Hessian agencies and the ECM client is used by 44 assistants,

prosecutors, and judges in their daily work. About 3,000 user operations on

electronic case files, each and all aspects of prosecuting traffic offenses are

fully digitised, while there is digital signature of court decisions. The plans for

2010 increase the number of involved agencies to 56, and the number of

processed cases to more than 50,000 per year.

Mr Ziehm concluded stressing the strong project political sponsorship that

allowed changes in legislation when necessary and the activation of a multistakeholder

management process that was necessary. The use of standards

contributed to the project success, as well as the excellent understanding of

the relevant processes by the project team.

Finally, Mr Ziehm underlined that SOA is not to be considered as a primarily

technical approach, but a management one.
 
In reply to a question by Mr Sobolewski, Mr Ziehm clarified that a set of twenty


services were created and one public service registry.

3.2 Practical application of SOA in the Public Procurement  processes of the European Commission

Mr João Rodrigues Frade (PricewaterhouseCoopers, Performance

Improvement Consulting) discussed the practical application of SOA in the

public procurement processes of the European Commission.

According to Mr Rodrigues Frade, EU public procurement plays an important

part on the single market and is governed by rules intended to remove

barriers and open up markets in a non-discriminatory and competitive way.

Total public procurement in the EU – i.e. the purchases of goods, services and

public works by governments and public utilities – is estimated at about 1 per

cent of the Union’s GDP or € 1,500 billion in 2002.

Based on the i2010 eGovernment Action Plan, the high level take-up of

electronic procurement is highly desirable for Europe. Its widespread usage  could result in savings in total procurement costs of around 5 per cent and


reductions in transaction costs of 10 per cent or more. Consequently, this

could lead to savings of tens of billions of euro annually and easier access to

public procurement markets for SMEs. As a result, this action plan points out

to eProcurement, and in particular cross-border eProcurement, as the area on

which to focus in the application of key electronic services.

The e-PRIOR platform

To support these objectives, the IDABC electronic invoicing and electronic

ordering project started in the summer of 2007 as a joint IDABC action of the

Directorate General for Internal Market and Services and the Directorate

General for Informatics of the European Commission.

Based on the experience of this project, the presentation explored how SOA

and platform-based development were used to satisfy a wide variety of

business and technical requirements, which were the foundation of the service

oriented platform named e-PRIOR (electronic Procurement Invoicing and

Ordering).

e-PRIOR is an e-Procurement system, exposing a number of web services

linked to particular steps in the procurement process of the European

Commission. Broadly, it helps public authorities manage their procurement

processes electronically. They can use it to receive catalogues digitally, they

can submit their orders on-line and they can manage their invoices, simply by

exchanging standardised electronic business documents.

The goal

Among others, the   Among others, the goal is to actively foster dialogue, interaction and


discussion, but also to address the strategic, as well as implementation

aspects of using SOA to bridge the legacy systems used by public

administrations and the systems of their suppliers. All this is to be set in the

context of achieving interoperable eServices, which are cross-border and help

making procurement faster, more transparent, greener and more secure.

Mr Rodrigues Frade concluded that the EC is paving the way for

eProcurement and the adoption of standards and SOA, promoting

interoperability in reliable eCollaboration between suppliers and customers. e-

PRIOR is a strong example of an “Enterprise Service Bus” platform

independent of the back office systems that can be reused in different

document exchange contexts.

Ms Lahti asked about the schedule of bringing the e-PRIOR services online.

Mr Rodrigues Frade explained that after the eInvoicing related services

(invoice, credit note, document attachment) which are already online, the rest

of the eProcurement services are scheduled for the end of the year 2010. The

project is working on ordering and catalogue services now and in the mean

time it is working to expand the list of involved suppliers.

Following a question from the audience on the need for e-PRIOR specific

infrastructure, Mr Rodrigues Frade explained that the project currently

operates in a point-to-point architecture, since it is at its pilot phase. However,e-PRIOR is already connected to the PEPPOL large scale pilot eProcurement


project, where cloud architecture is employed and it is e-PRIOR’s plans to

render point to point connectivity deprecated when the necessary critical mass

is achieved.

Mr. Sobolewski inquired about the number of services employed in e-PRIOR.

Mr. Rodrigues Frade explained that there are different services for each

document type, but in general there are fifteen services currently provided. He

added that the e-PRIOR platform exists in two versions, one using the BEA

Weblogic proprietary platform and one using open source infrastructure to

facilitate its reuse by public administrations, which includes implementations

of the Spring framework, JBPM and EJB3.
 
3.3 Time for a SOA reference framework for the European  Commission

Mr Koert Declercq (Deloitte Consulting) presented the SOA reference

framework for public services.

SOA in government is rising. Public administrations evolve in a complex

environment, involving many actors at different levels. For that reason,

governments have traditionally developed systems that do not integrate with

one another. Today, public administrations face obstacles because their

applications are outdated: they do not meet business needs adequately, they

are costly to maintain, and at the same time not flexible enough to handle

policy and regulation changes efficiently.

In this context, the SOA paradigm seems particularly suited to help

government agencies. SOA should be seen as a design philosophy that

informs how the solution should be built. SOA uses a set of common

applications or services that extend across all systems and perform common

types of functions and business processes, without having to modify all core

underlying systems.

SOA should organise existing IT solutions in such a way that the

heterogeneous array of distributed, complex systems and applications can be

transformed into a network of integrated, simplified and highly flexible

systems. Therefore, the adoption of SOA principles across public

administrations is getting stronger by the day.

Examples of successful SOA implementations can be found: the Overheids

Service Bus in the Netherlands, the e-Health Platform in Belgium, Health and

Human Services in US, and Inspire geo-portal at the Commission. These

examples provide a simple basic infrastructure with a set of services, which

are accessible via portal or service bus.
The advantages SOA offers by its distributed nature and loose coupling also


lead to its main challenges. With SOA, the complexity is in the area of

choosing the right services, orchestrating and composing them. It is thus

essential to define the type of services that the administration would deliver  through SOA and create a SOA roadmap. This can be supported by the  following elements:

● Reference list of services. These services are clearly understood by the

business and imply a clear communication within the organisation.

● Logical order in the implementation of the infrastructure services. The

order is based on a SOA maturity assessment. When the SOA experience

and maturity increase, the type of services change.

● Clear split between business and infrastructure services.

● Good SOA governance that aims to increase overall quality of SOA and

enable control in a complex environment.

If these elements are considered, it seems clear that guidance is essential

when starting a SOA initiative. In that sense, a key success factor to a

successful SOA transition is a reference architecture.

Necessity for reference architecture

Architectural guidelines are essential in order to organise a successful SOA

transition, with appropriate governance and roadmap. At the European level,

reference architecture can provide a helpful framework to progressively

implement the services needed. European SOA reference architecture will

provide a blueprint for creating or evaluating architecture and depict how to

leverage on existing systems, providing systems’ integration and reusable

services across public administrations.
Mr Malotaux asked about the relation of the proposed reference model to the


EIF of the European Commission. Mr Declercq replied that the proposed

reference model fits in the EIF provisions and the EIF sets the landscape, but

we should start filling it up.

Mr Sobolewski commented that the reference architecture is not SOA as it

only proposes a list of services with no workflow or service orchestration.

According to Mr Sobolewski, citizens should be in the position to decide what

services to get in line with their needs. Mr Declercq commented that the

customer in the proposed reference architecture is not the citizen, but a

specific user relevant to a business case.

Ms Donovang-Kuhlisch commented that she considers the proposed

reference architecture positively as it approaches the definition,

categorisation, and implementation of services in different levels. The lowlevel

infrastructure and the business processes define a matrix that forms the

eGovernment services landscape.
 
(TO BE CONTINUED)


SOURCE EU ICT

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4 Comments:

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