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Community Blog What is SOA

What is SOA

SOA system is a common enterprise architecture.

SOA (Service-Oriented Architecture) is a component model. It splits the different functional units (called services) of an application and connects them through well-defined interfaces and protocols between these services. The interface is defined neutrally, and it should be independent of the hardware platform, operating system, and programming language that implements the service. This allows services built in a variety of systems to interact in a unified and universal way.

SOA Definition

SOA (Service-Oriented Architecture), can be distributed deployment, combination, and use of loosely coupled coarse-grained application components through the network according to requirements. The service layer is the foundation of SOA and can be directly invoked by applications, thereby effectively controlling the human dependence of the interaction with software agents in the system.

SOA is a coarse-grained and loosely coupled service architecture. Services communicate through simple and precisely defined interfaces, without involving underlying programming interfaces and communication models. SOA can be seen as a natural extension of the B/S model, XML (a subset of standard general-purpose markup language)/Web Service technology.

SOA will be able to help software engineers understand the development and deployment forms of various components in enterprise-level architecture at a new height. It will help enterprise system architects construct the entire business system faster, more reliably, and more reusable. . Compared with the past, the SOA-based system can face rapid business changes more calmly.

SOA Feature

The implementation of SOA has several distinct basic characteristics. The key goal of implementing SOA is to maximize the role of enterprise IT assets. To achieve this goal, the following characteristics must be kept in mind during the implementation of SOA:

  • Accessible from outside the company;
  • Ready to use at any time;
  • Coarse-grained service interface classification;
  • Loosely coupled;
  • Reusable ;
  • Service interface design management;
  • Standardized service interface;
  • Support various message modes;
  • Precisely defined service contract;

SOA services have platform-independent self-describing XML documents. Web Services Description Language is a standard language used to describe services.

SOA services communicate with messages, which are usually defined using XML Schema. The communication between consumers and providers or between consumers and services is more common in environments where the provider is unknown. The communication between services can also be seen as a key business document processed internally by the enterprise.

Within an enterprise, SOA services are maintained through a registry that plays the role of the directory listing. The application looks for and calls a certain service in the Registry. Universal Description, Definition, and Integration is the standard for service registration.

Every SOA service has an associated quality of service (QoS). Some of the key elements of QoS are security requirements, reliable communication, and policies on who can call the service.

Why Choose SOA

  • SOA can be published through the Internet server, which breaks through the limitations of the corporate intranet and achieves close integration with the upstream and downstream partners of the supply chain. Through the SOA architecture, companies can directly establish new channels with their business partners, and the cost of establishing new partners can be reduced.
  • SOA has nothing to do with the platform, reducing the restrictions on the realization of business applications. To integrate the business partners of an enterprise into the "large" business system of the enterprise, there is no restriction on the specific technologies used by its business partners.
  • SOA has low coupling characteristics, and business partners have a low impact on the entire business system. As the relationship between enterprises and various business partners is constantly changing, the savings will increase.

Related Blog

Monolithic, SOA, Microservices, Serverless and API REST

First of all, let’s compare the monolithic approach, SOA and microservices from the point of view of their main characteristics: granularity and coupling. I will help you to understand the evolution of theses approaches and their advantages and weaknesses.

Insights into the True Nature of SOA

What are the similarities and differences among mainstream architectures, such as layered architectures, microservices architectures, and distributed architectures? What is a service-oriented architecture (SOA)? Why do we need SOA? What is the nature of service orientation? How should we design services and service-oriented architecture?

In this thorough and insightful article, Cheng Yan (nickname Dingyi), a senior technical expert at Alibaba, elaborates on his views about SOA and proposes a path to success for service orientation.

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