Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is an architectural style that supports service-orientation.
Service-orientation is a way of thinking in terms of services and service-based development and the outcomes of services.
The principle of service-orientation can apply throughout the enterprise architecture, but is most commonly applied to the organization of the software that supports the enterprise's business operations. With SOA, this software is organized as a set of software services. The services are supported by an infrastructure that, together with the services, improves information flow within the enterprise and between the enterprise and external enterprises.
The software services are used by the enterprise’s business operations. This frequently involves a human-computer interface, often implemented as a web interface using portals, etc., but it may also involve other interfaces, such as machine interfaces for process control. Specific sets of business processes, services, and interfaces are created in the context of a supporting infrastructure as service-based solutions. Each solution solves a particular business problem.
The business operations themselves may be organized on the service-oriented principle. Indeed, there are many people who believe that the greatest benefits of SOA are obtained when it is applied to the business architecture.
The infrastructure provides the execution environment for the software services. This includes the basic operating system and networking, and also includes specific support for software services, such as message passing and service discovery. The infrastructure is managed via human-computer interfaces by technical staff who are responsible for all aspects of operating the enterprise’s IT, including its availability, performance, and security.
A major benefit of SOA is that it delivers enterprise agility, by enabling rapid development and modification of the software that supports the business processes. The infrastructure can provide for this by including facilities such as business-oriented scripting languages and model-driven implementation tools. These facilities support not only the creation of new software services, but also the modification and replacement of existing ones: the whole service lifecycle. They are used via human-computer interfaces by development staff.
The infrastructure also provides for storage of enterprise information. SOA can enable easier flow of information within and between enterprises. The information is not locked up in specific services, as it often is in the so-called “silo” applications of earlier architecture styles, but is available to all the software services that need it.
Service-orientation may extend to the design of the infrastructure, and many people advocate this, but it is not essential to service-oriented software architecture.
For organizations that are considering implementing SOA, getting started can be a daunting task. Organizations everywhere, irrespective of the industry they serve, continue to struggle to piece together high volumes of disjointed information and application silos across the enterprise.
With experience completing enterprise wide SOA implementations at Fortune 500 companies, Bacelor provides comprehensive 4-6 week SOA assessments and roadmap services that may include:
Benefits of the assessment can include:
Enterprises receive valuable benefits with Bacelor’s Enterprise Business Solutions including: