Service Oriented Architecture
As technology and computers evolve, new and better ways of managing these components becomes necessary. The concept of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) has arisen as new model or method in which engineers, managers and everyday people can maximize their technologies in new and better ways. By understanding and embracing transformation within this area of technology, new paradigms of learning can be achieved and the collective ideals that are shared can be done so in a more efficient and effective manner.
The purpose of this essay is to discuss the impact that Service Oriented Architecture may have on large enterprises and organizations. This examination will first give background on SOA and how the concept evolved and came into practice. Next, this essay will investigate future trends and how SOA can be implemented in real world examples. Specifically, this essay will address cloud computing enterprise organization and how this method takes great benefit of the SOA model provided. The essay will also address the regulatory and legal issues with these discussed technologies before concluding with ideas on how the rest of planet Earth may impact from this information and approach to technology and computer management.
The nature of computing requires both hardware and software aspects in order for the system to work and operate in a cohesive and useful system. The relationship between software and hardware is key to understanding how SOA impacts these issues. In a SOA approach, software applications are designed with discrete software agents that have simple and easy to use interfaces . These applications are married together to perform a required function. Within the SOA paradigm, there are two simple roles, one is the supplier and one is the consumer. Much like the poles on the battery or any other male/female assessment, SOA reflects these basic comparisons.
To understand what SOA truly means, it is necessary to look at what a service really consists of and how it contributes to the meaning of the phrase. Smith (2014) wrote "A service is an implementation of a clearly defined business function that operates independent of the state of any other service. It has a well defined set of platform-independent interfaces and operates through a pre-defined contract with the consumer of the service. Services are loosely coupled -- a service need not know the technical details of another service in order to work with it -- all interaction takes place through the interfaces."
Therefore a service oriented architecture would reflect these ideas of service. Despite the jargon, SOA's are really simple to understand. SOA's are very similar to shopping malls, were software applications are stored in organized shops specifically designed to the customer's individual needs and wants. This approach is truly a service and treating it as such requires a new way to approach the subject for businesses and individuals wishing to exploit this available technology for its own purposes.
Benefits of SOA
The independence that is gained by a having a successful SOA in place is a significant benefit and a worthwhile reason to pursue its attainment. The focus and originality that goes into many SOA models provide their customers with an original product designed with specific functionality and purpose. SOA allows businesses to focus on other more important aspect other than IT issues. This frees up energy and resources to grow the business and become more competitive in their chosen industry.
The business environment is very competitive. Much is due to technology which has allowed new markets to spawn up across the globe. Anyone with a cell phone can run a business with the right software and the right personal skills. Companies that have evolved have been able to take advantage of technology advances when they arrive, and SOA application such as cloud computing has opened up new doors to the future in both the business arena and the information technology aspects of society.
To help determine the future trends of cloud computing models based on SOA, Feuerlicht & Govardhan (2009) wrote "To be effective in today's enterprise computing environments, the scope of SOA needs to be extended to encompass different types of service models, including SaaS (Software as a Service), IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and services that represent the Web 2.0 environment. These important service oriented computing trends have been evolving in parallel with SOA, and have now reached a stage of acting in a premature way. The future trends of any industry a very difficult to surmise with simple analysis. Testing software applications within SOAs should adopt a similar position. "Due to the high dynamism and the multiorganizational characteristics of SOA, the traditional testing process is not anymore adequate to guarantee acceptable level of reliability and trust. At the same time, new opportunities arise for SOA validation. In particular, we argue in favor of moving testing activities from the laboratory towards run-time. This is aligned with the emerging trend of a surrounding open world, in which software-intensive systems are more and more pervasive and evolve at an unprecedented pace, the boundaries between software and the external world become fuzzy, and no single organization is anymore in control of a whole system, " (Bertolino et al., 2011).
Real World Examples: Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is one real world example that has demonstrated the current progress of SOA and its impact on the real world. The goal of cloud computing is to provide a customer with on-demand computing services with high quality. There are many challenges to this approach because of essentially the practice is so new and there is little research on the topic and even fewer scientific experiments conducted to examine the functaionalbity and profitability of such systems. In many cases, its trial by error and learn as one moves along. This approach is quite useful when time and resources are not an issue, but failures within large scale eneterprises places large demands on architects of such systems and designers of these applications. The custom fit approach that has taken over must understand its limitation in order for the practice to continue to be helpful in the real world.
Rimal et al. (2011) agreed with the problems of this idea when they wrote "Many Cloud Computing systems are available from industry as well as academia. Despite significant advances, there are several open issues with cloud such as security, availability, scalability, interoperability, service level agreement, data migration, data governance, trusty pyramid, usercentric privacy, transparency, political and legal issues, business service management etc. The major challenges for the Cloud Computing paradigm, however, will be the standardized API and usage model. As of today, there is no general design guideline that architects and developers can follow for Cloud-based applications. " This can both be interpreted as good or bad depending on the perspective taken.
There have been both successes and failures in the real world that bear noting and should be taken within the context of their existence and creation. Despite the technology that is involved with cloud computing and SOA, it is the human resources that produce the system that weighs heavily on the eventual quality of the product. The ability for the relationship to work requires good communication skills by both the consumer and provider. At the heart of this issue is the fact that the ability to get along with and understand others can benefit greatly in accomplishing business goals and reaching organizational objectives.
This idea was echoed in the research conducted by Garrison et al. (2012). In their research article they argued "We found that trust, managerial capability, and technical capability each have a significant relationship with cloud-deployment performance. The results of the user-vendor partnership imply that when a client organization and its cloud vendor develop a relationship characterized by trust, the client is more likely to realize the technical and economic benefits for which it originally pursued cloud computing." These intangibles that are highly needed are also highly difficult to attain.
There are many examples that point towards the idea that cloud computing can work for large business organizations. The right balance of technology and human purpose need to be blended in a harmonic convergence if this to take hold. Guido (2014) examined three highly success stories in his research and provided the understanding necessary to demonstrate the importance of cloud computing in the business sector. He wrote "Cloud is transforming business models for large enterprises such as The Hartford, Delhaize America and Pearson. With a clear understanding of what is possible -- and what is necessary, including a focus on security, transparency and integration -- the journey to the cloud in…
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