Sunday, January 22, 2012

To get a job as Integration Systems Support Analyst this may help you

As a fresh graduate If you have a few options to choose from 

1- BizTalk
2- Sharepoint
3- Business intelligence
4- .Net

Which one to select for the career start. All these technologies are very good and have good scope in future. I will advise you to chose field based on you interest. However, 1,2&3 are tool specific where as .Net is more generic and will help you build your skill in many areas but will also need more effort and more competition. 

- Biz talk have been Microsoft's only product for integration and SOA(Service Oriented Architect) development. You will have to integrate multiple systems and create resource adapters for talking to them. This will require extensive development using .Net WCF technology.
(Integration Layer)

- SharePoint is Microsoft' Content Management System, for building sites, portal for collaboration. It is very much in demand. You will have to build the Web Parts for building portals.
(Presentation Layer)

- Business Intelligence is very advance and specialized field. Data warehouse, Mater Data Management, Business Analytics are very much in demand.
(Data layer)

.Net -  is the core foundation of the above products and field. You will need .Net for any kind of development in all above fields (except Business Intelligence which will be using the tools).      
Here, I presume you will be building application from end-2-end presentation layer, middleware, integration and data-access layer.

I read an article about workflow in which i think is pretty well said. check the article below

Tech Talk with Brett Maytom

High level overview to what workflows are

Do you get the feeling of "Workflow ... workflow ... workflow .... aaargh .... wtf"?  Whilst chatting to many students, I find that there is a lot of ambiguity around workflows and what they are and where to use them.  I will be writing a few blogs on the topic, this topic what a workflow is.  As the technologies being used are gearing to workflows, I will discuss the different technologies and where to use what in another post.

What is a workflow?

A workflow is simply a reliable and repeatable set of activities that drive a process. In our businesses we create business silos or departments to deal with different processes,  e.g. sales is responsible for performing activities to get new business,  provisioning is responsible for delivery of goods, hr is responsible for managing staff and IT for performing tasks to provide supporting technologies.  Within these departments there are many processes each aimed to perform a different task.  We may even divide these processes into geographic locations for branches.
Business is all about process!
A workflow is a business process that has a set of characteristics:
  • It has a set of events that will cause the workflow to start.
  • It may need certain information to start such as a document artifact.
  • A workflow has an owner.
  • A workflow has a business benefit.
  • A may workflow delivers an outcome.
  • A workflow may have several activities.
  • A workflow is deterministic through a set of decision structures
  • A workflow activity may be automated by a system or manually done by a person, thus having someone\something responsible for executing the process.
  • A workflow is traceable and can be audited.
  • A workflow may start another process and even wait for an outcome.

Why is workflow hard?

An organization has thousands of processes and normally these processes are understood in the minds of individuals but not well documented, thus leaving room for ambiguity.  Many people use subjective reasoning and experience to make decision which leads to inconsistencies as the process is not well defined in their minds.  Unfortunately many decisions made and actions taken result in consequences, thus causality.  Thus one event (cause) results in a related activity (effect).  In business many effects are counterproductive as a result of bad decisions in previous processes.
System development and defining a workflow is hard as computer logic expects explicit decision structures and processes, there can not be any ambiguity or any step left out.  As a technical resource developing a workflow, the business process needs to be implemented exactly and it is our task is to extract the process from the business user.  However, most business users have never given great thought to the process as the live on a wing and a prayer dealing with causality on a daily basis.  This often yields to flawed processes which are technically hard coded, resulting in a flawed system.
A flawed business process will result in a system workflow that automates the process, thus a botch-up results in an automated botch-up.

An application is workflow

No matter how you look at it we ultimately write applications to facilitate or automate some business process.  The activities the user performs on the system, is part of some business process.
The application itself is a set of methods that create objects and execute other methods based on logic. The statements within each method also forms part of a process of tasks.  Is this not a workflow.  Windows events may occur, triggering off processes, such as clicks and timers.  This leads us to a complex design issue as we are actually dealing with many different types of workflows.

Types of workflows

Business workflow

Our organizations are full workflows that you, me and our coworkers carry out each and every day.  All of these activities require us to do something in a set manner with deterministic outcomes. These tasks may require us to discuss a topic with others, perform manual work, validate and check, make a decision based on criteria or even capture information into a system.

Human Interface Workflow

A single system attempts to guide the user through different screens with deterministic outcomes.  If you click on a button a certain dialog will appear, and if you click on another button something else will appear.  As we navigate through the system, information is passed from screen to screen thus attempting to guide you through a process.
The challenge is that applications facilitate many processes activities, and the user needs to learn what to click in order to resume the process.  The user either needs to capture some information to start off a process within the application, alternatively the user needs to query or read some information to resume a manual process.
The human interface workflow thus is used to assist the user navigating through your application and retaining state of what the user is doing.  You may want to think of your application as a giant wizard interface with screens and reports that you allow the user to navigate through by clicking or typing things.
In writing a human workflow, technical tasks such as retrieving or storing data, checking spelling is done through System workflow's.  There is a coupling between the Human Interface and the System Workflow, i.e. events in the HIW trigger off system workflows.

System Workflow

Systems either monitor user events (clicks) or system events (timers, data arrival, i/O)  and based on the event a sequence of code activities (methods) execute.  These activities normally perform both technical overhead tasks such as opening connections to databases, beginning and committing transactions, to computations, decision trees and even storing and retrieving data.
As I am writing for technical people, each and every method you write should do a single task (activity), there may also be a need for you to write a method that chains the calling of other methods.  Your system workflow is the nuts and bolts that make the application do what it is supposed to do and this is normally good old fashioned programming.

System-to-System workflow

In our organization we cannot expect to have one system as we have divisions such as departments with different processes, these differences require different systems that allow a user to do his/her job.  Many times a single person may interact with different systems as they are performing different processes.  This is normal in business.
However, when looking at the business holistically, there are many commonalities that are shared across systems, take for example the customer.  You need a system to capture and identify the customer, however the customer is used by sales, by accounting, by credit control, by provisioning and many other departments. 
It is impossible virtually impossible to have one system that runs the entire business, as we may custom develop systems in different time frames, we may also purchase off-the shelf systems.  There is no single system that can run the entire business, from web presence and portal, document manage, CRM, Financial, HR and Payroll, Security and authentication, printing, Communication, Data base, Business intelligence and forgive me for not going on for pages and pages.
Typically systems were done at a departmental and role level and required manual communication when discussing with other departments,  e.g. Sales receiving an order and forwarding it to billing, credit and provisioning.
With technology today we want to interchange data between our systems and automatically trigger off workflow on those systems so that we stop human miscommunication.  This is what system to system workflow are all about.   This can be tricky as security, information format and interchange methods come to play, i.e. What information, how does it look, how do we protect it, how do we send it and and in what format do we send it.

Business-to-business workflow

Business-to-business workflows are ultimately System-to-system workflows  but they now are going to vendors, partners and customers which are different legal entities.  There are challenges of using standards to totally decouple technology, not everyone is using MS products and all of their products.  There are legal issues to worry about and things such as non-repudiation.  Business-to-business workflow are normally more legally intense and I feel that they need to be managed differently.


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