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Service-Oriented Architecture: Concepts, Technology, and Designby Thomas Erl
Service-Oriented Architecture: Concepts, Technology, and Design
Authoring this book involved nearly a year of writing, research, and staying on top of a subject matter that is constantly expanding its reach and importance. Although the majority of the chapters focus on service-oriented architecture from a vendor-neutral perspective, achieving an accurate representation of this perspective required that I spend a great deal of time evaluating SOA support in all primary vendor platforms. As part of this research stage I spoke with more than a hundred senior IT professionals, either through interviews or through my work as an awards judge evaluating platform submissions.
One of the most interesting facets of this project has been in defining service-orientation within the context of Web services. While studying the individual parts of what constitutes service-orientation as a paradigm, I came to realize just how many of its roots lie in past innovations. Yet at the same time, it is distinct, blending traditional and new concepts in support of a unique architectural model.
Despite its apparent "newness," SOA, on a fundamental level, is based on a very old and established school of thought. Service-orientation, as a means of separating things into independent and logical units, is a very common concept. As I progressed through these chapters, I began to notice this more often in everyday life. Items, people, organizations we come into contact with either offer some form of service or participate in performing a service. Once applied to technology architecture, though, service-orientation is concerned with a specific part of our service-oriented world: business automation.
Competitive business climates demand that corporations minimize redundant effort and maximize the expediency with which strategic goals can be achieved. Inefficient organizations that consistently waste resources are bound to fall behind. The manner in which an organization automates its business is a critical factor in determining the level of efficiency at which it operates and, ultimately, the extent of success it attains in its ventures.
This is what makes SOA so valuable. By shaping automation logic through service-orientation, existing investments can be leveraged, business intelligence can be accurately expressed, and inherent automation agility can be achieved. When coupled with the Web services technology platform, SOA offers a significant and real benefit potential that can transform the technology and outlook of an organization. My goal for this book is to help you explore, understand, and realize this potential.
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