DreamWorks Moves To SOA - InformationWeek

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DreamWorks Moves To SOA

A move to the Linux operating system and open source applications more than a year ago played a key role in DreamWorks' transition to a service-oriented architecture.

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. is expected to announce Tuesday a successful transition to service-oriented architecture (SOA) to simplify and consolidate key business operations.

The SOA project meant planning, designing, and re-engineering DreamWorks Animation's existing applications. The project, which began in January 2005, took six months to complete.

Several drivers pushed the animator to SOA. The company's transition toward the Linux operating system and open source applications and away from older technology more than a year ago played a key role.

Known for its blockbuster films "Shrek 2" and "Madagascar," the animation shop wanted to free-up data center space to expand its render farm, where server clusters process computer-generated imagery for movie sequences.

It also laid a framework to develop new applications with reusable processes. The SOA module enables DreamWorks to insert code that executes a process, such as employee authentication rights, into software, rather than rewrite similar code for multiple applications.

Analysts expect SOA will have a significant impact on businesses as the technology mature. Abe Wong, head of Information Technology, DreamWorks Animation, already sees positive results. "We can increase the speed to write and deploy new applications with many of the reusable components that's now part of the architecture," he said. "For example, we reused the same employee authentication SOA component for all 12 applications we developed."

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