SOA definition, part 1

Jul 20, 2007 | George Fairbanks

I’d like to find a definition of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)
as an architectural style. The definitions I’ve seen so far are not
clear enough in that they do not exclude enough.

The Wikipedia’s
entry is clear enough about lack of consensus:

There is no widely agreed upon definition of service-oriented architecture other than its literal translation that it is an architecture that relies on service-orientation as its fundamental design principle.

One problem with using this to define an architectural style is that
it would include client-server, n-tier systems, and other styles that
SOA presumably wants to be distinct from.

When Paulo
visited our research group, he provided a reasonable
definition. His definition was that the SOA style prohibited certain
kinds of connections to components, such as directly accessing its
database, or dropping a chunk of data, or screen scraping. I like the
trajectory that thinking takes, because it both excludes certain kinds
of systems and, like any good style definition, does not refer to
implementation decisions (like SOAP messages).

I’ll continue to look for a definition that is helpful to me.


George Fairbanks is a software developer, designer, and architect living in New York city

+1-303-834-7760 (Recruiters: Please do not call)
Twitter: @GHFairbanks