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Utilising SOA in Defence Logistics

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Executive Summary

This paper addresses the distinct and complex challenges that are presented by the logistics function within the defense arena, and aims to show that these can be mitigated through the adoption of Services Oriented Architecture (SOA). Defense logistics have multiple touch points with logistics systems operated by civilian and quasi-civilian organizations, and must operate effectively, rapidly and transparently with these systems. However, as defense logistics approach the battlespace, the capabilities and needs change. Further complications are introduced through the sheer scale of maintaining a successful operation. Battlespace logistics must also ensure that all actions are financially optimized, while kept in balance with the real time critical needs of the assets in the battlespace itself. Today's battlespace requires an end-to-end approach to processing supply needs and providing the logistics to fulfill these. However, a single supply chain application is proving to be insufficient. Using SOA to underpin logistics processes can help address many of the associated problems. Here, functionality is made available as services that can be called as required. The use of a SOA architecture enables the rapid exchange of information required to ensure that massive inventories of equipment are not kept in multiple large distribution depots, yet also ensures that items are available within the short timescales necessary within such a dynamic environment.

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