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Where SOA Meets Cloud

David Linthicum

The Value of Information-as-a-Service

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 In the world of cloud computing where storage and compute are accessed using well-defined APIs, we also have available to us information that can be as easily accessed, also using well-defined APIs.   Typically, these providers offer up zip code or address validation and lookup, payment processing, or other services that validate or complete data.  In other words, information-as-a-service.    


One of the players out there is Postcode Anywhere, who provide Web services which are accessible over the Internet providing these data validation services.      

The idea is simple.    You link to the Web service to perform the validation service typically using an URL.   You pass in the parameters required, such as a zip code, and it passes back the result.    


The advantage of leveraging this kind of service is that you don't have to maintain the data yourself, which is a daunting if not impossible task.   Moreover, you can mix and match these services within applications or processes, as needed.    Also, considering that the interfaces are standardized, you don't need to relearn them as you move from API to API.     


Applications for these types of services are many, including address validation and payment processing for a commerce site, or perhaps even data cleansing operations in larger batches.    Also, you're able to embed these services within other clouds, such as IaaS as needed.   


These micro-clouds are not at all new, and they have been refining their services over many years.   Now that it's more acceptable to leverage cloud computing, you need to make sure that you look at information-as-a-service as part of your cloud computing and SOA strategy.   

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This blog is your first step toward understanding the issues you will face as cloud computing and SOA converge. The movement to cloud computing is a disruptive change that IT departments will soon face as SOA and cloud computing begin to have an effect on the modern enterprise. IT managers must learn how to give as well as take information in this new, shareable environment, while still protecting their company's interests. Innovative companies will take advantage of these new resources and reinvent themselves as unstoppable forces in their markets. Those who don't take advantage of this revolution will become quickly outdated, perhaps out of business.

David Linthicum

David Linthicum is the CTO of Blue Mountain Labs, and an internationally known distributed computing and application integration expert. View more


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