Service-Oriented Architectures and SOA Optimization

Service-Oriented Architectures (SOA) approaches are being adopted in the enterprise software world. By viewing a system as comprised of a group of interacting services, and the services as applying the security and other policies relevant to the consumer, we have a more tractable view and model for enterprise software.

Much SOA work is focused on the use of the business process to drive the implementation; these business processes can be expressed in a variety of ways, most commonly by WS-BPEL flows or by graphical descriptions in BPMN, the Business Process Modeling Notation. WS-BPEL is an OASIS Standard; BPMN is an Object Management Group Standard.

As SOA has been taken up by large enterprises, smaller businesses (SMBs, "Small and Medium Businesses" is the common term) have started to see the benefits.

One area of interest is the selection of competing services to be deployed on a business process. End-to-End Resource Planning is one approach to optimizing selections. Detailed references and links can be found on the OASIS SOA-EERP Technical Committee page. Some of these talks were written and delivered by William Cox, and are in the eCommerce and Service-Oriented Architecture Section of the Presentations area of this site. Dr Cox is Co-Chair of the OASIS SOA-EERP Technical Committee. The TC has a White Paper (in draft form) with an extended example of the application of EERP.

Cox Software Architects LLC contributed the first documents to the SOA-EERP Technical Committee to begin its work.

This approach is interesting and important because it leverages the enterprise capabilities of SOA to address the needs of service consumers, not just the providers of services. Of course, by composition and integration, service providers are also service consumers, so the SOA-EERP approach of optimization and establishing Business Service-level Agreements applies to both.

The application of SOA to building management has just started. oBIX (Open Building Information Exchange) provides an enterprise, Web services, view of facilities; major players in the energy area are looking at apply SOA.

William Cox first defined service-based approaches in his work a decade ago; the techniques of software architecture encompass service definition as well as composition and deployment.

Broader application of SOA architectures appears to be happening in many industries.

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