Dovetail Web Services and Clarify
The future of software is star-studded with web services. We discuss them frequently here, whether in the context of on-demand or on-premise deployments. The principles of a service oriented architecture, which include looser coupling between services that are reusable at will by numerous applications across the system, open up the experiences and capabilities of workers throughout the enterprise.
Dovetail Software’s own products in the CRM and support fields include Dovetail Web Services. These are an evolution from the APIs that made us famous for extending the capacity of the Amdocs Clarify database.
Dovetail web services and APIs allow the Clarify owner to add Clarify functions to any program or web page in any environment. This delivers savings in costs as well as the obvious increased capabilities.
Web services enable integration between different applications, such as by embedding Clarify workflow functions (retrieving data, updating or closing cases, etc) into the standard Outlook email application, for example. New workflows and new solutions developed in-house by IT, or customized specifically by third parties, can be implemented rapidly and simply, creating custom portals, and collaborative utilities and applications.
One model of service oriented architecture proposes the three main elements of exposing, composing, and consuming. This refers to, first exposing the business processes of software to external calls by creating them as services open to standard methods of communication. Secondly, these services are then composed with others to build a set of processes that can be grouped into a particular job function or requirement. Third, each service, from being created as a separate entity, can be consumed at will by recombination into different compositions, amid a variety of disparate needs and consumer calls.
“While the architectures described within Expose / Compose / Consume may be interdependent, they are designed to be loosely coupled. This enables services to be managed, versioned and configured independently of how they are exposed” See An Abstract SOA Reference Model
Services intended to be consumed within proprietary systems may not have the loose coupling that the model calls for. Dovetail products are created for a very specific end – working with a Clarify database, and replacing the Amdocs applications with the more nimble and powerful Dovetail clients – but our open design philosophy ensures the maximum interoperability with the rest of the company’s computing environment. This is not the case with other CRM vendors necessarily.
“Even Oracle and SAP are creating Web services environments—just very tightly coupled ones that it’s hard to get other [non-Oracle or SAP] applications and services to integrate with.” From Time for a Web Services Reality Check?
On the Web, in software development circles, and in IT thinking, and within the realm also of customer service (which matters to everyone), today’s evolution of architecture and code raises enormous questions to be answered correctly. It’s easy to get carried away by buzzwords, and squalling waves of adoption that don’t reflect the longer, tidal action of the sea change.
The Clarify owner enjoys an advantage that is not apparent without Dovetail to extend and enhance the Clarify install. Clarify in itself is not designed to interoperate with the new software developments. Dovetail, on the other hand, has been created according to the same principles that drive today’s software, namely exposure, extensibility, and user empowerment.