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Business Transformation in Action

Joe McKendrick

SOA Definitions, Pure and Simple

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I really like what Don Fornes, founder and CEO at Software Advice,has done. He has carefully taken all the common terminology used in the service-oriented world and published in all in one place, complete with definitions.

Don's SOA: A Plain English Guide, has definitions for the 16 most common terms or jargon in this space ("from "loosely coupled" to "orchestration" to ".NET/Java"). 

He also provides background on what SOA is all about, including the "dry" definition:

"A paradigm for organizing and utilizing distributed capabilities that may be under the control of different ownership domains. It provides a uniform means to offer, discover, interact with and use capabilities to produce desired effects consistent with measurable preconditions and expectations." (OASIS)

As well as the more concise and jazzy definition:

"A new and better way to get a bunch of different software programs to work together so people can do things that require information from each of those systems."

And even a more cynical definition:

"A new three-letter acronym to describe incremental improvements to existing software development techniques, allowing systems to perhaps interoperate more effectively. Also used by highly acquisitive software companies to tell an optimistic story about how they'll get their acquired products to work together."

Don also has some thoughts for the SOA cynics that may read the piece. Overall, a much-needed piece of clarity for an often-confused market.

In this blog (formerly known as "SOA in Action"), Joe McKendrick examines how BPM and related business and IT approaches can promote business transformation.

Joe McKendrick

Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. View more


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