Service Oriented Architecture

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Service Oriented Architecture

A recent trend in Enterprise software is to promote using Web services as the standard for all communication between applications. While there is an abstract concept of "web services" (see web services book, ISBN 3540440089), the specific implementation in terms of XML, HTTP, SOAP, etc, is often called the Service Oriented Architecture (explained, for instance, in the book ISBN 0131858580).

SOA goes beyond web services to include higher-level scripting languages, like BPEL that "orchestrate" web services. SOA also proposes that enterprises use standard communication methods for Enterprise application integration, for instance using an Enterprise service bus, which is a higher-layer networking abstraction. Some SOA specifications even propose using other networking concepts, such as QoS, for services -- Service Level Agreements specify "contracts" on the level of service that should be provided (these become important when one enterprise pays another enterprise for software services).

Though SOA is primarily now a software architecture and guideline for standardizing enterprise software within an enterprise, there are some efforts to make software services independent products (see, for instance, how developers can add to Customer Relationship Management-company Salesforce).

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