Tips for a vendor-neutral SOA platform and service implementation

This excerpt from "SOA: Principles of Service Design" defines the the phrase "increased vendor diversification options" and discusses how and when they're beneficial.

SOA: Principles of Service Design

Vendor diversification refers to the ability an organization has to pick and choose "best-of-breed" vendor products and technology innovations and use them together within one enterprise. It is not necessarily beneficial for an organization to have a vendor-diverse environment; however, it is beneficial to have the option to diversify when required. To have and retain this option requires that its technology architecture not be tied or locked into any one specific vendor platform.

This represents an important state for an enterprise in that it provides the constant freedom for an organization to change, extend, and even replace solution implementations and technology resources without disrupting the overall, federated service architecture. This measure of governance autonomy is attractive because it prolongs the lifespan and increases the financial return of automation solutions.

By designing a service-oriented architecture in alignment with but neutral to major vendor SOA platforms and by positioning service contracts as standardized endpoints throughout a federated enterprise, proprietary service implementation details can be abstracted to establish a consistent inter-service communications framework. This provides organizations with constant options by allowing them to diversify their enterprises as needed (Figure 3.29).

Figure 3.29 A service composition consisting of three services, each of which encapsulates a different vendor automation environment. If service-orientation is adequately applied to the services, underlying disparity will not inhibit their ability to be combined into effective compositions.

vendor automation environment

Vendor diversification is further supported by taking advantage of the standards-based, vendor-neutral Web services framework. Because they impose no proprietary communication requirements, Web services further decrease dependency on vendor platforms. As with any other implementation medium, though, Web services need to be shaped and standardized through service-orientation in order to become a federated part of an SOA.

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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