What is Service-Oriented Architecture?

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What is Service-Oriented Architecture?
At a Glance

Quick turnaround times and minimal update cost is essential for any software business to survive and thrive. Out of the multiple options available for this task, Service-oriented architecture has emerged as a popular choice amongst the developers.

To ensure quick serviceability for various components in a software design, Service-Oriented-Architecture plays a crucial role.

With the rapid pace at which the technology is evolving, it has become imperative for software developers to ensure timely upgrades to their offerings. But reworking the whole setup every time is a challenging and resource-intensive task. Therefore, it has become imperative for developers to focus on methods to reduce the amount of time and resources required for upgrading the software. One of the most popular options that developers prefer these days for this requirement is service-oriented architecture. But what is Service Oriented Architecture, and what are the various elements of Service-Oriented Architecture? Let us have a look at these critical details.

A technology architecture expresses fundamental and foundational aspects of physical design for some piece of technology.

Thomas Erl, SOA Design Patterns

Service-Oriented Architecture – What is it?

A service-oriented architecture is a software design technology wherein the services are delivered for the other related components through application components over a network through a communication protocol. It stands independent when compared to other technologies. In this kind of software design approach, communication between various services takes place in the form of coordination between two or more services for an activity or in the form of passing of data. Common Communication Standards are utilized in such a way that it is possible to incorporate them in new applications quickly, without any need for performing in-depth integration every time.

Characteristics of SOA

Characteristics of service-oriented architecture vary across companies, but the following six aspects remain the same throughout: –

· Shared services

· Intrinsic interoperability

· Business value

· Strategic goals

· Flexibility, and

· Evolutionary refinement.

SOA Patterns

In a service-oriented architecture, there are essentially three building blocks:

· Service requester

· Service provider

· Service broker, service repository, and service registry

A service provider coordinates with the service registry in order to define the how’s and why’s of the various services to be offered, availability, security, applicable charges, and various others. Herein the category of the service and the need for trading agreements are also explored.

The onus is on the service broker to make all the details regarding the available services to the individuals requesting it. Moreover, by determining the implementation partner, the scope of services for a broker are also determined. Entries inside the broken registry are identified by the customer, and they are then assigned to the service provider.

Implementing SOA

There is a wide range of technologies to choose from while implementing SOA, but what is the best for your entity depends on your end goal and what you are looking to accomplish. It is generally implemented with web services, which benefits by making “functional building blocks accessible over standard internet protocols.”

Architectures can be implemented in several ways, i.e., it can “operate independently of specific technologies,” including messaging and Apache Thrift.

Why is SOA important?

Service-oriented architecture benefits web-service based businesses in several ways, such as: –

· In the creation of reusable code

The time to be spent on the development is reduced herein as the need for the creation of a new coding wheel for a new process is eliminated. As it supports a central interface, usage of multiple coding languages is facilitated.

· In promoting interaction

SOA puts a standard form of communication in place, which allows a lot of systems and platforms to function independently of one another. Such kind of interaction also allows work around firewalls and allows “companies to share services that are vital to operations.”

· For scalability

SOA cuts back on the client-service interaction and hence allows for greater scalability.

· In reducing costs

SOA helps reduce costs even while “maintaining a standard level of output.”

SOA + Cloud Computing

SOA can work both with and without cloud computing, but we see a lot of businesses moving their file storage to the cloud. Thus it makes sense to use SOA and cloud computing together. Cloud computing enables users to easily and instantly implement services as required by their clients “without needing to consult an IT department.”

However, one disadvantage of such assimilation could be that some aspects remain unevaluated, for instance, security or availability. Here, users are highly dependant on a service provider. Integration of present systems and data into the cloud offering is a challenge for several enterprises. In order to ensure a seamless transition, continuity must be maintained. Also, not every aspect will be outsourced to the cloud; some tasks will have to be done manually.

SOA vs. Microservices

Microservices, i.e., Microservice Architecture, is an architectural style that forms an application through a collection of small, autonomous services structured around a business domain. The critical difference between SOA and microservices comes in their functionality.


Both Service Oriented Architecture and Software-as-a-Service help to advance one’s business. However, the difference lies in the fact that the resources available for SaaS are software applications. A SaaS infrastructure is “available too, but hidden, from users.” SaaS has a significant advantage as users are not supposed to install and thereby maintain the software, which eliminates the complexities. SaaS does not require the customer to get into any upfront licensing, which leads to a cut in costs since the providers are only supposed to maintain a single application.

SOA is not a very easy technique to deal with, but once you get the grip of it, it can benefit organizations in several ways. Different things work for other people, and so is the case with your clients. Even though not all of your clients can be provided comfort through custom services, what an organization can do is provide its clients with a range of services that will help them in a more wholesome manner.

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