Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc. is investing heavily in the promise of SOA. The company, which controls 750 properties around the world (including Sheraton, Westin and the "W"), is migrating its reservation and Preferred Guest applications away from a Cobol-based, IBM mainframe system.
Starwood's biggest act is to replace the legacy room-reservation system with an SOA-based one. Within a year, it intends to go live with as many as 150 service-based applications built on Web standards, according to a recent piece in Information Week/SOA Pipeline.
The services are being created in Java 2 Enterprise Edition though the organization has learned that merely creating them is inadequate. "We knew we had to manage services better," explains Tom Conophy, Starwood's executive VP and chief technology officer.
Relying on new hardware running HP-UX and Linux, the endeavor is designed to ensure Starwood can manage a large, expanding array of reservations and customer loyalty services.
When the final transition is complete, Starwood is convinced that it will have the capabilities to monitor and operate a high-performance SOA infrastructure. "We've got to manage an enterprise that's fully services-enabled," says Conophy.