In SOA, applications development shifts from technology-driven with a focus on functions and features to business-driven with a focus on business processes and services.
SOA aligns well with user-centric EA where business is the driver for technology, rather than technology for its own sake.
In the Wall Street Journal (July 30, 2007), Meg McCarthy, the CIO of Aetna, compares SOA with Legos: With Legos, we have distinct pieces that can be joined and formed into a functional object and then can be taken apart and put together again in a different way, for another use. Similarly, in SOA, we have loosely coupled services linked for use in discrete tasks, and which can then be linked in alternate ways and reused for other tasks.
In SOA independent, interoperable software can be searched, discovered, and exchanged/shared. Thus, integration is achieved by invoking service calls for necessary information and functionality.
One example where we can benefit from integration and sharing is in government in today’s post 9-11 world, where inter- and intra-agency information sharing is vital for law enforcement and defense readiness.
SOA leverages modularity and component reuse to achieve a more agile IT environment that can more efficiently automate business processes and integrate our silos of people, process, and technology.
Have you seen any examples of SOA in action?