What is SOA ?

First, let’s mention what SOA is not:
• SOA is not the same thing as web services. Web Services implies the use of standard such as Java/JAX-RPC, .NET or REST. Web Services also implies the use of a WSDL, SOAP, and/or J2EE Connector Architecture (J2EE CA) and HTTP. SOA architectures can be implemented using J2EE CA, XML file transfer or Remote Procedural Call (RPC) over File Transfer Protocol (FTP), TCP/IP, Remote Method Invocation (RMI) or other protocols. In other words, Web Services are a very specific set of technologies. SOA is a concept and can be implemented in many different ways. Some very rudimentary, such as transfering flat files between applications.
• SOA will not solve all of your problems. It will make your business more agile, increase business visibility, reduce integration costs and provide better reuse. However, if you don’t need help in these area or expect SOA to cure all of your IT problems, you are looking in the wrong place.
• The concepts behind SOA are not new, but SOA is also not mature. SOA as it stands today has really only been around for 5 years. The concepts of standards based protocol handlers, predefined communication schemas and remote method invocation have been around for decades. So, what is SOA? SOA is an architectural blueprint, a way of developing applications, and a set of best practices. SOA is not an ‘out of the box’ solution you buy, install and then have up and running in a matter of months. SOA is a journey to a better way of doing business and the technology architecture to support this better way of doing business. SOA is also a broader set of technologies including more then just web services. Techologies like an Enterpirse Service Bus (ESB), Business Processs Execution Language (BPEL), message queues and Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) all are part of a SOA architecture.

So, what is SOA? SOA is an architectural blueprint, a way of developing applications, and a set of best practices. SOA is not an ‘out of the box’ solution you buy, install and then have up and running in a matter of months. SOA is a journey to a better way of doing business and the technology architecture to support this better way of doing business. SOA is also a broader set of technologies including more then just web services. Techologies like an Enterpirse Service Bus (ESB), Business Processs Execution Language (BPEL), message queues and Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) all are part of a SOA architecture.
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