What Is Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)?

Service oriented architecture has gained more popularity with its acronym SOA. But have we ever submerged ourselves a little deep in order to split the basic questions in which everyone gets entwined.

Is SOA a Product or a Technology?
Neither it is a technology and definitely not a product. It is a computing methodology that endows with a strategy to architect your IT milieu to respond speedily & cost effectively for business transformation. Or in simpler terms it is the technical facilitator for the today’s businesses to competently team up with the other trades & react promptly to the constantly-altering market circumstances at an abridged outlay.

SOA, A Hot Tech Buzz Word – How?
Yes, SOA’s rising popularity has made it the latest and hottest tech buzz in the www. Era. It is prefixed with almost every product and service today because of the noteworthy benefits that it amasses for them. But this term has to be understood along with appreciating the challenges that come with it. It is an answer to the demanding consumers by making businesses agile and helping them survive in context to the survival of the fittest.

Features Illustrated
The prominent features in the services in SOA can be stated as under:-

Elemental Building Blocks
Can be used disjointedly or as a package
Used for compound functionality and customersSOA’s Principles
For a better understanding of the topic some of the core principles of SOA can be exemplified as:-
Discoverability

It permits the internal & external customers & systems to discern the services offered by a business through an industry standard registry.
Loose-Coupling

It consents the business processes to be defined as distinct services, yet grant a mechanism for the services to assimilate and switch over data and messages on a need basis.
Composability

It facilitates the business to combine existing service into one service offering. This negates obliteration of services and plays down formation of new services.
Reusability

It lets the businesses to influence existing resources & services without having to generate new ones. Though reuse is not a new-fangled concept, with SOA it acquires a whole new connotation – reuse of business processes in part or full.
Interoperability

The business will be able to integrate two or more services if the integration points & information exchanged are standardized.
Alliance

With alliance, a business’ competence to proffer services by teaming up with external companies will amplify exponentially.

The above can also be taken as the benefits that accrue to the businesses from SOA.

SOA Implementation
The implementation of SOA can be discussed under the three different types of approaches, namely:-
Top Down Approach
A near utopian solution for organizations building IT infrastructure ground up, for the first time
Meticulous & full analysis of business requirements precedes recognition & implementation of services
Bottom Up Approach
A practical strategy- executed on the foundation of an existing IT infrastructure
Permits maximum reuse, implementation precise to existing business requirements
Down Side: Probability to diverge from service- oriented concepts is high, owing to no preliminary analysis of the total IT landscape
Meeting the Middle ApproachAn optimal Strategy
Advocates analysis from a long term standpoint & analogous implementation
Reuses existing infrastructure to deliver today’s business needs.

Is SOA different from distributed computing or Object Oriented Methodology or Application Service Providers (ASP’s)?

SOA is a methodology that evolved over the years taking into account quite a number of computing methodologies & merging it with the business demands of today. It is now mature and is adopted by numerous enterprises universally.Discoverability & Compatibility are two chief distinguishing factors of SOA.

Is SOA different from distributed computing or Object Oriented Methodology or Application Service Providers (ASP’s)?

SOA is a methodology that evolved over the years taking into account quite a number of computing methodologies & merging it with the business demands of today. It is now mature and is adopted by numerous enterprises universally.
Discoverability & Compatibility are two chief distinguishing factors of SOA.
Discoverability – conceptualizes the end clients from the location, execution & IT infrastructure of SOA based system. This gives massive suppleness and supplementary security to organizations hosting an SOA based system.
Composability on the other hand facilitates composition of business processes on the fly, based on the end-client’s requirements. It benefits are enumerated as under:-
Reuse of existing implementations of business processes.
Custom Empowerment – capability to choose the option customer wants
Reduced time to market for new services

A Common Misconception
It is a very common misconception that SOA is none other than the Web services itself. But this point needs a clear clarification and that is; Web service is a technology whereas SOA is a methodology. One can implement a methodology utilizing a technology and web services specifically play this role in the context of SOA that has been stated a few words before. Since web-services prop up the core SOA principles, it has become one of the most favored choices.

Benefits that accrue from SOA

Appends value to businesses guaranteed
Saves money
Augments productivity
Trims down / Eliminates Re-Engineering
Helps in building agile systems

As the Creative Head of A3Logics Shubraa is responsible for evangelizing the benefits of eminent content to emerging software outsourcing companies. With over 6 years of experience managing global campaigns for enterprise application development companies large & small, Shubraa now shares her lead generation & content writing insights with the small businesses community, helping them improve the content standard & promote their business online as cost effectively as possible.

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