An introduction to service-oriented computing

This excerpt from "SOA: Principles of Service Design" introduces service-oriented computing's new generation of computing platforms and all the elements therein.

service-oriented computing Service-oriented computing represents a new generation distributed computing platform. As such, it encompasses many things, including its own design paradigm and design principles, design pattern catalogs, pattern languages, a distinct architectural model, and related concepts, technologies, and frameworks.

It sounds like a pretty big umbrella, and it is. Service-oriented computing builds upon past distributed computing platforms and adds new design layers, governance considerations, and a vast set of preferred implementation technologies. That's why taking the time to understand its underlying mechanics before proceeding to the actual design and construction phases of a delivery project is time well spent.

To better appreciate the fundamental complexion of a typical service-oriented computing platform we need to describe each of its primary parts, which we'll refer to as elements:

  • Service-Oriented Architecture
  • Service-Orientation
  • Service-Oriented Solution Logic
  • Services
  • Service Compositions
  • Service Inventory

The following sections define each of these elements and conclude with a section that explains how they can inter-relate conceptually and physically. The basic symbols introduced in these sections are used repeatedly within subsequent parts of this book.

Use the following table of contents to navigate to chapter excerpts.

SOA: Principles of Service Design
  Home: Service-oriented computing and SOA: Introduction
  1: Design fundamentals: Design characteristics
  2: Design fundamentals: Design principles
  3: Design fundamentals: Design pattern and design pattern language
  4: Design fundamentals: Design standard
  5: Design fundamentals: Best practices
  6: Introduction to service-oriented computing
  7: Service oriented architecture
  8: Service compositions
  9: Understanding service oriented computing elements
  10: Entity services
  11: Web services and service oriented computing
  12: Service inventory blueprints
  13: Service-oriented analysis and service modeling
  14: Service-oriented design
  15: Goals and benefits of service-oriented computing
  16: Increased intrinsic interoperability
  17: Increased federation
  18: Increased vendor diversification options
  19: Increased business and technology domain alignment
  20: Increased ROI
  21: Increased organizational agility
  22: Reduced IT burden

SOA: Principles of Service Design is dedicated to service engineering and establishing service-orientation as a design paradigm. This hands-on manual for service design establishes concrete links between specific service-orientation design principles and the strategic goals and benefits associated with SOA. Purchase the book from
Thomas Erl is the world's top-selling SOA author, Series Editor of the "Prentice Hall Service-Oriented Computing Series and editor of The SOA Magazine. His books have become international bestsellers and have been formally endorsed by senior members of major software organizations such as IBM, Microsoft and Oracle. He is the founder of SOA Systems Inc., a company specializing in SOA training, certification and strategic consulting services with a vendor-agnostic focus.


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