California Department of Water Resources Optimizes IT Efficiency with SOA Software and Red Hat

Enterprise Services and SOA help the State of California Department of Water Resources realize early ROI by rapidly responding to new State and Federal requirements

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Los Angeles, Calif., May 17, 2010— SOA Software, a leading SOA and Cloud Services Governance provider, announced today that the California Department of Water Resources has realized immediate value with an enterprise SOA Governance infrastructure build using SOA Software’s industry-leading products.

The State of California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is the operator of the State Water Project, the largest State-built multipurpose project in the United States.  DWR’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) Tim Garza, and Chief IT Architect Steve Croft are driving the Agency to move from a set of application silos to a Platform where IT functionality can be shared within the entire enterprise.  Leveraging an SOA paradigm and enterprise services to create an agile and efficient infrastructure allows DWR to rapidly respond to new State and Federal requirements, delivering new applications quickly and inexpensively. 

DWR has adopted SOA to enable core business opportunities:

With a growing number of new development initiatives starting in an 18 month period, DWR had to reduce the development time and cost of these initiatives compared to previous projects.  Even though these projects were each driven by different business units, a quick study revealed enough similarities to identify significant savings potential by using service reuse to eliminate duplicate development efforts for the same functionality. 

As part of an IT Modernization Project, DWR was replacing or upgrading a number of Core systems running on different platforms, including SAP, Documentum, ESRI, and Adobe software stacks.  This modernization effort presented the opportunity for DWR to begin eliminating redundant systems.  One example is leveraging COTS packages within an environment such that functionality is widely accessible.  All of the new software stacks provided Web Service support, although each implementation was slightly different.


DWR recognized that, in order for these initiatives to succeed, they would need to upgrade their infrastructure and processes with an effective enterprise service and SOA Governance solution combining best-of-breed products from Red Hat’s JBoss Enterprise Middleware and SOA Software into a comprehensive SOA Platform.  The platform includes:

  • SOA Software’s Policy Manager for registry/repository, policy management, consumer contract provision and lifecycle management
  • SOA Software’s Network Director for service virtualization, routing, security, service-level management, and auditing
  • JBoss Enterprise SOA Platform as an adapter framework and underlying reliable messaging infrastructure

“After a rigorous product selection and evaluation process we chose SOA Software’s products to provide our governance solution because they met our requirements for a unified solution with production-proven performance and reliability,” said Tim Garza, Chief Information Officer of DWR.  “We are extremely happy with the smooth and efficient deployment of this solution and are very pleased to report that the solution has paid for itself in less than a year.”

This solution is now in production delivering immediate return on DWR’s investment. The platform:

  • Ensures that services DWR identifies, designs and builds are relevant to and consumable by their own application portfolio and partners
  • Makes services DWR exposes from applications running on all their platforms, including SAP, Documentum, Adobe, Java, open source and Microsoft visible across all platforms and compliant with enterprise policies defined, enforced and audited across all platforms
  • Promotes, ensures and formalizes consistent alignment between demand from service consumers and the supply of services through Consumer Contract Provisioning.
  • Provides a mechanism to ensure a consistent security, monitoring, and auditing model

The value of a well implemented SOA Governance solution and SOA Platform continues to grow over time; however, the solution at DWR has already more than paid for itself.  DWR originally intended to implement a limited scope SOA platform to support a bonds and grants application it had committed to build to satisfy state government reporting requirements.  Tim Garza and Steve Croft recognized the longer-term value potential in enterprise SOA governance and so decided to expand the scope of the solution to provide enterprise wide capabilities.

The first application to benefit from DWR’s SOA Platform was the bonds and grants reporting application.  This application allows interested parties to examine how bond and grant monies allocated to specific initiatives to determine how are being spent.  The application needs to connect with multiple different data sources from SAP and custom databases.  In the past this integration would have been implemented by building proprietary connectors for each data source with considerable development, operations, and maintenance costs associated with each.  By exposing the data as services and normalizing the services through its SOA Platform, DWR is able to abstract the application logic from the data and has reduced the development time and cost of the application by more than half.

DWR information technology shop is also offering its SOA Platform as a service to other department business areas and Natural Resources Agency partners that have developed their own services locally.  These areas need ways to offer their services to business partners and other agencies statewide.  In the past they would have to hard code access, logging, and management capabilities for each connection, often creating more than 10 different versions of each service to satisfy the needs of their consumers.  Using DWR’s SOA Platform to virtualize their services and provide these infrastructure capabilities they can create a single service consumable by multiple agencies and partners.  While this doesn’t reduce the initial development cost, previously they would have incurred an additional 40% of the initial cost for each consumer of their service.  Using the virtual service infrastructure this per consumer effort is eliminated, reducing the overall development cost significantly.

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