Why Your Business Needs a Services Oriented Architecture – SOA

Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) has become a de facto standard for the integration of disparate software applications or components. Yet there is still significant confusion and misunderstanding as to what SOA offers and why it is of benefit to the organizations which implement it. Increasingly competitive markets and the rapid pace of technology change are driving businesses to respond quickly to new opportunities and customer demands.For information technology departments, supporting business agility requires the ability to quickly add new functionality and business processes while leveraging existing systems and information. This is changing the nature of application development from a standalone activity that focuses on the creation of new code to an activity that is centered on using existing applications as the basis for developing new business systems.In an SOA, discrete business functions are created as independent components with standard interfaces that can be accessed by other applications, services, or business processes regardless of the platform or programming language. These services can be flexibly combined to support different or changing business processes and functions. it works by leveraging a reliable, secure and technology-neutral messaging infrastructure based on widely accepted industry standards. In general terms, an SOA provides the following key functions:o A communications protocol which can inter operate between different systems and languages, such as between Microsoft Windows, UNIX and Apple Macintosh.o A method by which a service can be described in a way which is clear and platform-independent.o A way to search for a service which satisfies the specific need at the time it is required.One of the most widely utilised implementation of an SOA is known as the “web services platform”. The web services platform uses the internet and HTTP for communication, a form of XML (the Web Services Definition Language (WSDL)) to describe services and something called UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration Service) which provides a mechanism for clients to dynamically find other web services.Within an organisation, the implementation of an SOA architecture provides a platform of re-usable business services, which can be used to provide the information required to meet the ongoing demands of your business in a flexible manner. A well implemented SOA can integrate existing, even legacy, applications into a modern flexible environment which supports faster delivery of new functionality and breathes new life into the existing investment in applications.If your information technology department is implementing an SOA then you are already on the right track. If not, then it should be considered as an urgent business priority if you are to compete with increasingly agile competitors in an environment where information technology has become a key element in successful business delivery.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.