Search This Blog

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Web Technologies: SOA What?

Why is the enterprise software industry all abuzz about SOA? The SOA
world has recently begun to realize that SOA applications are ultimately
still just applications. Data services are thus an important class of
services that warrant explicit consideration in designing, building, and
maintaining SOA applications. Those of us who grew up in the "preaSOAic"
era will quickly notice that something is missing from [typical SOA
diagrams]: a data model associated with the application. To use a simple
analogy, services provide operations that are akin to verbs -- the
business actions available to application developers. Missing are the
nouns -- the data entities. By focusing only on business processes and
services, the basic SOA model misses what the actions are about. In
addition, business processes often need access to information. While
some middleware software vendors have been making data service noises
for several years, a survey of current information-integration vendor
offerings reveals an emerging consensus that data services will play a
key role in SOA applications. BEA Systems, Composite Software, IBM,
Microsoft, Red Hat, and Xcalia are among the growing list of companies
seeking to make data services easier to build and maintain with recent
or forthcoming products. In addition to service-enabling data, most such
products include data-integration capabilities that provide uniform,
service-oriented access to otherwise disparate data types and data
sources. Is SOA the next wave or a passing fad? Several signs point to
a lasting future for SOA. A range of organizations and companies are
pursuing SOA initiatives today, and the emerging SaaS trend suggests
that future enterprises' business processes will commonly orchestrate
services residing both in-house and across the Web. And what about data
services -- are they for real? Because data will always be central to
applications, it's likely that data services will "stick" in the SOA
world. Consequently, systems that make building and managing data
services easier will become an increasingly significant piece of the
enterprise information integration puzzle. Moreover, data-service
modeling will become a design discipline in need of sound new
methodologies and supporting tools. See also IEEE Computer Magazine: Click Here

No comments: