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The project aims to clearly define SOA, definition SOA, history overview, characteristics, SWOT analysis, and importance of SOA now-a-days, advantages and disadvantages of SOA as compared with other architecture. The project clearly defines the reader the clear overview of SOA which can help them to understand SOA and the comparison with other architecture.
In these days SOA is well known and well discussed topic by IT vendors all over the world. IBM, HP, Microsoft, SAP and many other major IT companies use SOA and some of them amending SOA and represent into new tune. SOA is the group of new software bind together to allow IT vendors to produce something else which is latest and flexible. SOA has special and unique characteristics. For effective use of SOA the developers and designer need to understand the characteristics and SOA concepts. (Hurwitz, Judith, et al, 2007)
History of SOA
It was a big challenge in IT and business to find the service which can make integration between IT and business for achieving business objectives. As it seems that it is very easy but in reality it is very complex. In the past computer applications were developed for specific particular task without integration to other system. In the modern computing the applications are much more distributed. Now a single application shared into several components like emails, DNS services etc. it is more practical to use components based computing rather than using one application for one task. (Service-Oriented Architecture, 2010)
In the past if the account holder needs the information about the account then the customer service representative has to go to one terminal and enter the account number. If the customer needs the saving account information then the representative has to enter the account number in the different terminal. The problem was that each account type has different interfaces. Now-a-days with the successful implementation of SOA and distributed systems banks are now interconnected which improved customer services and customer satisfaction. It also reduced the cost and time.(Rosen,Boris & Smith, 2008)
Before explaining SOA the software architecture needs to be explained. Software architecture is a new field in the software engineering. Software architecture highlighted the components of the system and how they interact with each other. The interaction between these components is called connectors. (Stevens, 2002)
The definition of Software architecture is as followed
“The software architecture of a program or computing system is the structure or structures of the system, which comprise software components, the externally visible properties of those components, and the relationships among them.” (Bass, Clements, and Kazman 1997)
Components and connectors of system software architecture
What is SOA?
On the basis of software engineering SOA is an IT architecture which is based on the delivery of reusability of well-defined business. The IT components are under pinned in such a way that the consumer (customer) and provider (business) are loosely coupled. SOA give the independence to enable components to be implemented in different platforms and computer languages. SOA give the great flexibility to re-assemble the existing IT components to build a new solution. There is no restriction in SOA that where there components resides and how things will create. The big misconception about SOA is that most people think that SOA is a technology. However, SOA is not a technology it is the approach to software design that assemble systems from a reusable components and services may originated from different resources and different technology environment. The services provided by SOA can be distributed across heterogeneous platforms which maximize the business and IT agility. (Introduction-to-Service-Oriented-Architecture-SOA, 2010)
There are many definitions of SOA. The definition of SOA which can be more likely to understand is as followed: “A service oriented architecture is a framework for integrating business processes and supporting IT as secure, standardized components service that can be reused and combined to address changing priorities” (Bieberstein, Norbert, et al, 2010)
SOA is flexible architecture design. SOA is not only simple architecture it builds architecture on the basis of existing architecture and build more advance software architecture. (Oasis, 2006)
According to Jamil “SOA is a design pattern which is composed of loosely coupled, discoverable, reusable, inter-operable platform agnostic services in which each of these services follow a well-defined standard. Each of these services can be bound or unbound at any time and as needed”. (Jamil, 2010)
In this definition it did not indicate any service that what service is being provided in this architecture. It did not describe about software. On the basis of SOA the hardware architecture can be designed effectively. Basically SOA architecture plays the role of bridge between embedded systems and enterprise software. Many companies are making integrated systems now-a-days and SOA is playing a very important role in the integrated systems for integration.
SOA makes changes easier
SOA makes changes easier in the business and IT environment. IT Systems are the collection of software, hardware and networks. These IT components (software, hardware and networks) are integrated with each other. For making change between them is very difficult. It is very easy to reuse and assemble the components with the help of SOA. For example if a business provides some services to customer like checking credits, checking shipping status and inventory. With the help of SOA we can assemble components in any way as required by the business. When a business needs to be changed then instead of doing work from the beginning we have to reuse and re-arrange the components and services to make something new. SOA help us to save the time and money. We can add new components or someone else’s components to make the IT to build something new. SOA helps to grow the business. It gave the flexibility to make change in our business easily which helps business to innovate new. (Rosen Michael, Lublinsky Boris & Smith Kevin T., 2008). The base of SOA is based on loosely coupled services in which software components can easily communicate with each other. These components do not have to know their technical details. (Service-Oriented Architecture, 2010)
Service consumer executes the service by sending it a request formatted according to the contract.
Service provider publishes its contract in the registry for access by service consumers.
Service registry is a network-based directory that contains available services. It is an entity that accepts and stores contracts from service providers and provides those contracts to interested service consumers.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Service-Oriented Architecture
Advantages of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)
This section shows the advantages of SOA in the following aspects.
SOA benefits to distributed computing
SOA short term benefits
SOA long term benefits
SOA benefits from the business prospective
SOA benefits t to distributed computing
SOA is loosely coupled architecture and location is important factor for loosely coupled architecture. Loosely coupled architecture like SOA provides many requests of the same service from the different location. SOA provides location independence. In SOA architecture services does not need a particular network or specific system.(Bieberstein, 2006)
Completely loosely coupled
SOA has loosely coupled approach and the quality of this service is that if you want to change the service in one location then it does not need to change linked services.
Dynamic search and connectivity to other services
SOA short term benefits
SOA has many short term benefits like
Reducing hardware acquisition costs
Leverages existing development skills
Providing data bridge between business and IT (Introduction-to-Service-Oriented-Architecture-SOA, 2010)
SOA long term benefits
SOA provides the following long term benefits
Ability to build composite compatible applications
Reducing management costs
Real-time decision making applications (Introduction-to-Service-Oriented-Architecture-SOA, 2010)
SOA benefits from the business prospective
Change more quickly according to the customer
Low cost of maintenance technology
Leverages existing investments in technology
Reduces expensive custom development cost (Introduction-to-Service-Oriented-Architecture-SOA, 2010)
The main advantage of SOA is that it fits in business and IT gaps. In the recent world there are many forces contributing in business environement like competition, new products and other endless factors. In the past, IT groups were struggling for fill out this IT and business gap. SOA filled this gap by building an integration between IT and business. One thing which we have to keep in our minds while implementing SOA in the organizations that SOA is not a complete success it is based on how SOA is being designed?. For example, if anyone wants to replace the AVsystem they can replace it with better DVD player. So, they can buy DVD player and replace AV system quickly. Similarly if an organization wants to replace old CRM with new CRM they can easily buy one and integrate with existing system with the help of SOA. But the success of SOA is that how it is designed?. (Barry, 2003)
SOA services are used by multiple clients. So, SOA has their own security systemsalso. Multiple level security increased the security of the system. SOA architecture integrate application with each other which solved the problem of software incompatibility and as a result it has low integration cost. SOA facilitate the organization to adapt change quikly. With the help of SOA organizations can adapt change according to market situation. (Barry, 2003)
Disadvantages of Service-Oriented Architecture
Although there are many advantages of SOA but there are some disadvantages also.
SOA is based on loosely coupled architecture that’s why SOA has no synchronization element. In SOA process there are some illogical steps followed which are not the part of the SOA model.
SOA is not recommended for the following applications.
SOA is not for the systems which are stand alone or non-distributed e.g. word processor does not has request and respond based calls. SOA is not suitable for applications which are short term and those applications which have no attention of reusability in the future. Applications which have lots of data of geographical manipulation data are also not suitable with SOA. (Disadvantages of SOA , 2010)
Comparison with other architectures
SOA vs. Components based architecture
If we compare SOA and component based architecture then there is no clear line between them. The main difference between them is connection between and the possibilities offer single service for third party.
In the conclusion SOA is not the aver night architecture that happens suddenly or overnight. To implement SOA it needs patience consistency and right way of implementation. SOA has many advantages and disadvantages. SOA by itself does not have major problem but the way of implementation is the key point of success. SOA has many challenges but the challenges are more likely relevant to business rather than IT. It is also considered that SOA is not the solution for all the software development problems. SOA has too many problems like the required service according to circumstances, acceptable performance and security. Although there are many advantages and disadvantages of implementing SOA but the key success of implementing of SOA is the way of implementation SOA. How SOA is being implemented in the organization?
Bass, L., Clements, P., and Kazman, R. Software Architecture in Practice. Addison-
Bieberstein, Norbert, et al. “Chapter 1 – Introducing SOA”.Executing SOA: A Practical Guide for the Service-Oriented Architect. IBM Press, © 2008. Books24x7. Web. Nov. 16, 2010.http://common.books24x7.com.librouter.hud.ac.uk/book/id_27520/book.asp
Barry, D. K. (2003). Web services and service-oriented architecture: the savvy manager’s guide. San Francisco,CA: Morgan Kaufmann Publisher.
Bieberstein Norbert, Marc Fiammante, Keith Jones, Rawn Shah . (2006). Service-oriented architecture compass: business value, planning. US: Pearson Plc.
Ejaz Jamil, “What really is SOA. A comparison with Cloud Computing, Web 2.0, SaaS, WOA, Web Services, PaaS and others”. Web.Nov.17,2010.http://soalib.com/doc/whitepaper/SoalibWhitePaper_SOAJargon.pdf
Hurwitz, Judith, et al. “Service Oriented Architecture for Dummies”. Service Oriented Architecture For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons, © 2007. Books24x7. Web. Nov. 16, 2010.
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Rosen Michael, Lublinsky Boris & Smith Kevin T. (2008). Applied SOA : Service-Oriented Architecture and Design Strategies. John Wiley & Sons.
Stevens, Michael. “Service-Oriented Architecture Introduction”.web. Nov.16,2010.http://www.developer.com/services/article.php/1010451
Schmutz, Guido, Daniel Liebhart, and Peter Welkenbach. “Chapter 1 – Basic Principles”. Service Oriented Architecture: An Integration Blueprint: A Real-world SOA Strategy for the Integration of Heterogeneous Enterprise Systems. Packt Publishing, © 2010. Books24x7. Web. Nov. 16, 2010.http://common.books24x7.com.librouter.hud.ac.uk/book/id_35815/book.asp
Service-Oriented Architecture. (2010). Retrieved 11 22, 2010, from What is Service-Oriented Architecture?: http://www.bestpricecomputers.co.uk/glossary/service-oriented-architecture.htm
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