SOA Terminology and the “SOA Reference Model” of OASIS

Borjan Cace, maandag 14 januari 2008

The vocabulary we use to communicate about Service Oriented Architecture is vague and is causing confusion. The negative effects caused by the lack of precision are most obvious when we communicate outside of the community of SOA professionals. The “SOA Reference Model” of OASIS provides a solid basis for the needed shared vocabulary but the reviewing has identified some shortcomings. This article elaborates on these shortcomings and emphasizes the importance of four concepts commonly denoted by the terms: service, contract, interface and operation. Additionally, these terms are compared to the terms formalized by W3C.

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Reactie van Stichting Digital Architecture op 6 Juni 2012 op 12.27

Geschreven door Hans Wierenga op 25-02-2008 21:39

At last, a breath of fresh air in SOA-land! It is about time that definitions were put together by practitioners, rather than hype-merchants and people with hammers who think that everything is a nail.

I have just 2 problems:
- the word 'abstract' in the definition of interface is capable of being interpreted in many ways beside the intended one; additionally, the interface is concerned with the inputs and the outputs only, not the teleological aspects of the service. Suggestion: An interface is a machine-readable description of the structures and semantics of the inputs and corresponding outputs of the service, provided in such a way that it can be used by software on - in principle - any device to make use of the service.
- the definition of contract does not indicate what the minimum expression is that is required in order for it to be a contract. Clearly there are expressions of Service Behavior that are inadequate, such as "The service will generally reply sometime." The sentence which follows the definition is much better: it mentions as essential ingredients the interfaces, additional requirements and agreement between the client and the service.

Regards,

Hans Wierenga

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