What is SOA?
Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is a pattern of software design based on service-orientation. SOA provides service-based development, in terms of services to be used, and the results of services. SOA starts by realizing the idea of service, which includes introduction of the service bus, service structure, and service virtualization; these are applied to your business to deliver the expected results. To this, the SoftElegance architect team will evaluate your business needs, and the costs of different possible solutions, to ascertain the ideas that will be the best fit for your SOA project.
The services provided in SOA are complete and defined by their reusability. Thus, the services can be used and reused for as many times as possible for several applications in different systems, the interacting components notwithstanding.
Since SOA is complete and autonomous, it eliminates the difficulties associated with updating and maintaining interacting services.
Because services in SOA are self-contained programs, it is easier to test, debug, or run any type of maintenance.
SOA services are available in public directories, so that any requester or consumer that needs them can find them much faster.
Since different businesses have different levels of complexity in their architecture, the proficiency of services to run successfully on various servers improves scalability and service accessibility.
SOA services are platform-independent, because they run on different servers harmoniously and are publicly available on any system they are applied to, independent of the platform where the system is installed.
This is the initial stage for SOA projects, where decisions are made as regards the plan for the SOA project. These decisions will determine how the entire project will be carried out. Thus, this is an inevitable stage for SOA projects, and it may call for separate funding and time to conduct substantial studies needed to ascertain a wide range of factors, such as risk assessment; available funding; and an appropriate financing model, methodology and management system required for the project to move on.
In this stage, service inventory analysis is carried out to identify the individual service candidates and assign their suitable functional contexts according to how they are related. This will help to ensure that the services inside the service inventory boundary do not overlap. The service inventory blueprint is produced in this stage.
This is the first phase in the service delivery cycle, and it is carried out iteratively for every business process. The SOA process starts with the gathering of fundamental information necessary for service modeling. This is a sub-process that leads to the establishment of conceptual service candidates, service composition candidates, and service capability candidates. A critical success factor of this process depends on the partnership of the Business Analysts and Technology Architects of the SoftElegance team.
The Service-Oriented Design phase is also a service delivery lifecycle stage, where the service contracts are created following the "contract-first" methodology as regards software development. This process is started with a service candidate produced from the Service-Oriented Analysis process. The service candidate is exposed to more review, which structures it into a technical service contract aligned with other service contracts from the same service inventory.
Service Logic Planning is the purposeful arrangement of project stages in line with the principle that service contracts ought to be consistent in their relationship with each other in the boundary of a service inventory. Service logic design, together with the service architecture, is influenced by many service-orientation principles, including whether or not the service will be implemented in a cloud environment.
Service development begins after all the model specifications are successfully achieved. The previous stages, coupled with the involvement of custom design standards, will define the service architecture of the SOA project. Thus, the service developers’ team at SoftElegance will have clear objectives toward the development of the different service architecture components.
All services involved will go through the same testing process and quality assurance cycles like traditional custom-designed applications. However, because of new requirements, the need for supplementary testing techniques and effort is introduced.
At this stage, each service is deployed to a production environment. Changes may be needed on the production environment, subsequently or part of an initial implementation; this is referred to as the service maintenance. However, this does not relate to changes in the service contract or the service logic, and it also does not affect any change to establish a new version of the service in an environment.
In this stage of the SOA workflow, a deployed service is being monitored to generate important metrics for measuring service usage for continuous maintenance and business assessment details, such as calculating the cost of ownership and Return on Investment (ROI).
The SoftElegance project teams perform a clearly defined Service Identification process to ensure the harmonious reuse of common services and service capabilities. The main aim of this SOA workflow stage is to discover cross-platform services that exist in a service inventory, which are capable of fulfilling universal requirements for the various business processes with which the project team is charged.
After the successful implementation of a service and the service being used in production environments, there may be a need for some changes to be made in order to boost the functionality of the service or the service logic. In such cases, there will likely be an introduction of a new version of the service logic or the service contract (or a new version of both). Thus, an official service versioning process is adopted to make sure that the changes are made successfully, with minimal impact to the consumers of that service that already have interrelations with the service.