The first step in any SOA undertaking is to clearly identify the critical business problems or challenges. The more precisely these can be defined the easier it will be to determine the scope and direction of each SOA project. By setting clear vision and direction from the top, it will be easier to obtain buy in on projects that are cross-functional in nature. Once the business drivers of the organization are defined, the service analysis process can begin. Service analysis is one of several steps that comprise a Service Lifecycle. The Service Lifecycle explains the necessary steps an organization must go through to define, develop, deploy and operate a service.
Services are commonly used to expose IT investments such as legacy platforms and Line of Business applications. Services can be assembled (or “composed”) into business processes, and be made available for consumption by users, systems or other services. The process is an iterative one of creating (“exposing”) new services, aggregating (“composing”) these services into larger composite applications, and making the outputs available for consumption by the business user.