SOA moves from buzz to basics

Service oriented architecture (SOA) is not new nor a new buzzword but an important shift in enterprise computing that will become the basis for the development of all future IT architectures, according to the ANZ product manager at BEA Systems, Luke Glen.

"To dismiss SOA as a fad or simply a new buzzword would be a serious mistake but there are misconceptions. For example, buying the latest XML and Web services products does not mean that you are building SOA applications," Glen said.

"SOA requires developers to design applications as a collection of services even if the benefits of this are not immediately apparent. SOA encourages the use of alternative technologies and approaches and it is not merely a development methodology."

Many IT organisations have been building and running SOA environments with XML and Web services taking it to the next level.

"However, SOA can change how IT organisations implement EAI and B2B integration.

"SOA will require IT organisations to change many aspects of their business; how they are organised, how they build and manage applications, the technologies they use and products they purchase," Glen said.

"All of these changes have costs associated with them that need to be justifiable to the business, especially given these difficult economic times.

"But SOA can deliver on many fronts by wrapping existing applications as services, their functionality can be reused thereby increasing the ROI of legacy applications by extending their lifetimes and reducing the cost of new functionality."

By leveraging existing services, Glen said new applications can be deployed faster - bringing new products and services to market quicker than competitors.

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