Service-oriented architecture, or SOA, has quickly become one of the most important applications for communicating between different systems, or ‘services.’
To better understand SOA though, we need to define what a ‘service’ is. In a basic sense, services are building blocks that allow users to organize information in ways familiar to them. These building blocks combine this information in a seamless fashion to present a relatively simple interface.
Communication of these services can involve a simple transfer of information or coordinate activity between two or more services.
Service-oriented architecture is simply a collection of these various ‘services.’
To visualize SOA in action, think of a large online retailer like Amazon.com or Overstock.com. Different programs must work together in order for the customer to have a seamless transaction. Steps in the buying process involve different systems developed at different times with their own unique platforms and technology.
For example, the sites’ inventory system is different than the interface the customer uses to shop, which differs from the shopping cart and payment system.
Each of these systems have to work together so the customer has a seamless shopping experience – find what they want, pay for it and have it shipped directly to them with just a few mouse clicks.
Of course e-commerce isn’t the only venue where SOA is useful. Any organization will have information ‘silos’ that prevent information and processes from going back and forth. SOA helps knock down these silos and build an effective, interconnected IT system.
To learn more about this valuable technology, we invite you to check out our knowledge center article on service oriented architecture. And if your enterprise is experiencing gridlock due to information silos, contact business process integration consultants at Innovative Architects today for a free consultation.