Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)

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Like any other religion, sorry architecture, SOA has its own language and meanings for the terms it uses. Unfortunately, some of these words can be very confusing, none more than the term "service". So here is a bluffer's guide to understanding and conversing in SOA-speak.

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In this SOA article I would like to begin by defining what SOA is and what you need to know about it. In future articles, I will explore some of the challenges and benefits of SOA to the analyst community. Let’s start off with a definition of SOA. You can, of course, look at a number of definitions of SOA on the Web, but you will find them confusing and contradictory as there are a number of views on this ranging from SOA is everything, to SOA is just Web Services, neither of which is true.

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In the articles leading up to this final installment in our series, we established relevant business service models and service delivery strategies. These two important parts of an SOA project tie into the first of two processes responsible for producing the actual services. This process is called service-oriented analysis and it represents an impo...
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In part five of our look at how SOA ties into the world of business analysis, we continue the discussion of delivery approaches and common top-down deliverables. We begin by introducing the enterprise service model, a valuable specification that can be derived from the types of enterprise models we covered at the end of Part 4. We then continue by ...
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Development projects for service-oriented solutions are, on the surface, much like any other custom development projects for distributed applications. Services are designed, developed, and deployed alongside the usual supporting cast of front and back-end technologies. Once you dig a bit deeper under the layers of service-orientation, though, you'l...
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In the previous article we described the role of service models and explored the design standards for an entity-centric business service. This model establishes a highly process-agnostic encapsulation context in that the logic placed into these types of services is not directly related to any one business process. So, where does the process logic g...
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As part of the design of service-oriented solutions it is common to label individual services according to the roles they fulfill. There are different types of roles, depending on the nature of the functionality being encapsulated and the context within which the service is being utilized. For example, during runtime processing, services can as...
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This is the first article in a six-part series dedicated to exploring how SOA and service-orientation relate to and affect business analysis processes and approaches. Acclaimed author Thomas Erl shares his insights into the world of service-oriented business analysis and business service modeling by providing customized excerpts from his second SOA...
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We've all come to realize that SOA makes a lot of sense. It also makes a lot of promises, some more genuine than others, but perhaps the most fundamental promise SOA has made is empowerment of the business user. As the story goes, SOA transforms application development from a complex and mysterious black art—the likes of which most understand l...
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