Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Service Oriented Architecture

Greetings everyone,

As Harsha has already given the introduction to CEP, one major aspect of our venture; allow me to drop a few words on the other aspect : Service Oriented Architecture or SOA. Chances are, if you are reading this blog, you'd be well aware of SOA already, so let me sum up on a few important points only.

SOA 101 >>>
Rather than a totally revolutionary concept, SOA can be described as an evolutionary step (and a pretty important one at that) in the path of achieving better reuse in software components. It is a step above from component based software that is geared towards handling more complex issues rising in the world of software systems such as distributed systems, the internet with its multitude of platforms and protocols. 

SOA therefore, in a nutshell is an architecture compromising of different interacting software services, characterized by their loose coupling. The promise of SOA is that the marginal cost involved in the creation of a certain eventual software application will be zero. This is because all the software needed for the functionality of this particular solution already exist (currently servicing other applications) and to make this work, all that is required will be a certain amount of linking and ordering of different services. 

With this promise of low cost, easy solution deployment which is well suited for handling today's complex systems, its not surprising that SOA has become quite popular of late.

SOA & Web Services >>>
If you're thinking now that SOA is just another fancy name for Web Services, well, you're not the only one. While there are many arguments and debates over the theory of Web Services itself or Web Services and SOA; it is generally accepted that Web Services lie at the core of SOA. 

To make things a bit clearer, a Web Service needs two particular conditions to be met; 
  1. All interfaces must be based upon internet protocols (HTTP, SMTP, UDDI)
  2. Messages are passed in XML
Now this is interesting when you consider that in SOA it is required that a service to have a certain platform-independence. This requirement can be fulfilled by XML. Also adding onto this is the fact that protocols such as UDDI, HTML and WSDL are what makes SOA what it is basically. Its therefore not too hard to see the connection between SOA and Web Services and that Web Services can in fact be used to implement a SOA.  

A final word >>>
In today's world of increasing software complexity, SOA rocks! Promoting interconnections among existing IT services, SOA enables a building-block approach to creating cost-effective complex solutions with ease.

Any more questions as to why we are so interested in working with SOA? :)

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