What is Service Oriented Architecture?
Service Oriented Architecture is the idea of building a platform, or service on the web, as opposed to building just a web application. Service Oriented Architectures are designed for the ever increasing number of ways people interact with data in today’s world.
Why Build Service Oriented Arcitecture?
With mobile devices, desktop applications, and other web services, your platform needs to be able to interact with all of them. The important thing to note is that when building an SOA, you don’t care what the platform is. The goal of the service is to provide a simple way to interact with the data that it holds. Smart phones and tablets are only a few years old, and have radically changed the way people interact with the web. Who knows what platforms will be available one, two, or five years from now?
Working with a Service Oriented Architecture
The other major benefit of working on a web platform is that you are building a service that can interact with other web services. This is becoming increasingly important. Twitter and Facebook are successful not because they are great web applications, but because they are great web platforms. For example, while I enjoy you using twitter, I never go to twitter.com. I have a web based application (Tweetdeck) and a mobile phone application. And since it can interact with other services, My feed is automatically updated every time I write a post on my blog or on Tumblr. There is even a service available called If This Then That that allows you to easily set up interactions like this on your own. check out their recipes page to see how other people are putting these services together to work for them.
Service Oriented Architectures And the Future of the Web
While it’s easy to see the benefit of doing things like automatically tweeting, the implications of this kind of architecture is much more powerful. These kinds of service can be used anywhere, in medical, government, or non-profit business to bring about real change in people’s lives. When services are built to interact, you get something where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It allows people to come up with new things that couldn’t have existed on their own.