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Introduction to Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)

This article describes the concept of SOA (Service Oriented Architecture), its benefits, SOA with Web Services, choosing a platform to implement SOA and other related topics. The author recommends implementing SOA right now to survive in this competitive world.

  1. Introduction to Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)
  2. Web Services and SOA
  3. Benefits of SOA
  4. Which is best suitable for SOA: .NET or J2EE?
  5. Summary with Simple Definitions
By: Jagadish Chatarji
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October 13, 2004

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Any IT organization consists of many different parts, each of which contributes equally toward the goals of helping IT meet business needs. Each of these parts has specific requirements for management as below:

  • Systems
  • Networks
  • Applications
  • Information
  • Services
  • Processes
  • Databases
  • Repositories
  • Integrations
  • Warehouses
  • Migrations
  • And more

There are further enormous changes and challenges where IT is facing the demanding requirements from real world business needs today. After several years of challenges and ups and downs from Y2K, Internet, the dot.com backlash and IT downturn of the first part of this decade, we're finally raising our heads.  The main change that IT is currently undergoing is the shift to Service Orientation (SO) which is completely based on open standards-based computing. The perspective of IT functionality toward SO is being available as discoverable services on the network. Service orientation hides the complexity of today's heterogeneous IT environments from business users.

For this service-oriented world to become a reality, however, companies must move to a new architectural approach known as Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). SOA is architecture that represents software functionality as discoverable services on the network. A pure architectural definition of an SOA might be "an application architecture within which all functions are defined as independent services with well-defined invokable interfaces, which can be called in defined sequences to form business processes".  Only a technical person can understand this definition. I've included a simplified version of this definition in the summary at the end of this article.

Service-oriented architectures are nothing new; the Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) and the Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) have long provided similar functionality. These existing approaches to service orientation, however, suffered from a few difficult problems like tightly coupled scenarios.

>>> More SOAP & Web Services Articles          >>> More By Jagadish Chatarji

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