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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

So What are the Services in SOA?

Service-oriented architecture has gained heavy adoption over the past few years. The next several postings will provide a high level SOA introduction. I am hoping the posting could serve as a basic primer for systems and project professionals working on a SOA project.

What is service-oriented architecture?
An architecture that allows the alignment of business processes and objectives to Information Systems in a flexible and adaptive manner, through the defintion of services.

What are these services
Services are modular and repeatable business processes. A service could be defined at different levels of the organization. for example, a "customer update" could be a service that allows a customer to update their profile. On another level, a subscriber authentication process - to allow customer to gain access to her profile to update it - could be a service.

What are the main characteristics of a SOA service?
Services are also loosely coupled, maintaining a relationship that minimizes dependencies and only requires the awareness of connected services. Services are stateless and minimize information related to a specific activity.

So some examples of simple services in a sales department of a business could be; "collect customer information", "collect product /service information", collect payment terms". Each of these services could be broken down further as needed

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