search menu icon-carat-right cmu-wordmark

SMART Evolves to Meet Range of Service-Oriented Architecture Needs


July 6, 2010—In the beginning, there was the Service Migration and Reuse Technique, or SMART. It helped organizations migrate to a service-oriented-architecture environment by reusing components of their legacy systems.

The new technique met a growing need back in 2005. Service-oriented architecture (SOA) was becoming an increasingly popular mechanism for achieving interoperability between systems. SOA enables existing legacy systems to expose functionality as services, without requiring significant changes to those systems. So migrating to a SOA environment can bring considerable benefit to an organization.

But while migration can have significant value, any specific migration requires a concrete analysis of the feasibility, risk, and cost involved. The SEI's Grace Lewis answered this need for analysis by devising SMART, working with the system-of-systems engineering team that she now heads.

SMART was developed and piloted with an SEI military customer. The team then proceeded to deliver tutorials on its SOA work, including SMART, at six international conferences and with five customers in 2006 and 2007.

SMART’s introduction was a success, and Dennis Smith recalls the subsequent activity. Now leader of the SEI System of Systems Practice (SoSP) initiative, Smith helped advance the SMART effort with Lewis in 2008. “In one year, we conducted SMART engagements with four Department of Defense organizations and delivered our Migrating Legacy Systems to SOA Environments course more than 20 times, in public offerings and at seven organizations.” The course, now available online, includes a one-day introduction to the SMART approach.

SMART efforts continued to advance. For example, U.S. Department of Defense organizations adopted SMART for their efforts to migrate systems to SOA environments. In particular,

  • the Army Communications - Electronic Research Development and Engineering Center used SMART in a migration effort
  • the Air Force Electronic Systems Center licensed the technology
  • more than 100 people in Military Health Systems received training

Grace Lewis brings us up to date. “As SMART was more widely adopted, it also evolved,” she states. “As we worked with more organizations, we realized that our approach helps in many areas that don’t involve migration. And so we decided to redefine and rename SMART to reflect its expanded scope.”

SMART now stands for the SOA Migration, Adoption, and Reuse Technique.  The new name reflects what Lewis’ team learned in the course of its work: Many organizations aren’t ready to migrate their legacy systems, or they need a greater understanding of what it means to move to a SOA environment. SMART has evolved to accommodate such organizations. “Migration is still a main interest, but there are other entry points into the SOA world,” states Lewis. Listen to a podcast about SMART and featuring Grace Lewis to hear more.

SMART is now a family of approaches that meets different organizational needs and varying starting points for SOA adoption. The name change applies to all of these SMART approaches, described below and depicted in a diagram of the SMART family.

  • SMART-AF (Adoption Feasibility) targets organizations that need help determining if SOA is the right fit.
  • SMART-ENV (Environment) focuses on helping organizations understand a specific target SOA environment and identify associated costs and risks before migration.
  • SMART-ESP (Enterprise System Portfolio) targets organizations with numerous legacy systems that want to strategically identify what parts of these systems to expose as services.
  • SMART-MP (Migration Pilot) is the original SMART method, used for organizations interested in migrating legacy systems to SOA environments.
  • SMART-SYS (System) focuses on organizations that are targeting the development of full service-oriented systems: services, infrastructure, and service consumers.

To learn more about SMART, visit

For more information

Media Contacts:

Richard Lynch