Service-oriented architecture (SOA) has become an increasingly popular mechanism for achieving interoperability between systems. Because it has characteristics of loose coupling, published interfaces, and a standard communication model, SOA enables existing legacy systems to expose their functionality as services, presumably without making significant changes to the legacy systems. Migration of legacy systems to service-oriented environments has been achieved within a number of domains, showing that the promise is beginning to be fulfilled.
While migration to an SOA environment can have significant value, any specific migration requires a concrete analysis of the feasibility, risk, and cost involved. The Service Migration and Reuse Technique* (SMART), which was initially developed in 2005, helps organizations to make initial decisions about the feasibility of reusing legacy systems within an SOA environment. To achieve this, SMART gathers information about the legacy system, the target SOA environment, and candidate services to produce (1) a preliminary analysis of the viability of migrating the legacy system, (2) preliminary estimates of the costs and risks involved in the migration, and (3) a proposed migration strategy that includes the identification of a pilot project as a risk mitigation mechanism.
* As of June 2010, SMART is defined as the SOA Migration, Adoption, and Reuse Technique.