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SOA goes beyond 'rip, replace, repeat'

The essence of SOA is to find ways to work conceptually at a level above these technology 'blips' so that we are not constantly ripping and replacing software.

Development is rather like dialectic – it moves from rich full-bodied solutions to lighter more limited approaches,...

and so on. SearchSOA.com has covered these topics as they have evolved. We've seen CORBA give way to Web services and now, in some quarters, Web services are giving way to RESTful services. The essence of SOA is to find ways to work conceptually at a level above these technology 'blips' so that we are not constantly ripping and replacing software.

A stair-step evolution occurred with object containers. EJB was built to handle most every possible application instance, and came to be known as overkill and unwieldy. Formats like POJO and Spring have arisen, to address the most popular development paradigms, and avert the need for full fledged app servers with EJB containers. Ruby on Rails has taken a somewhat similar course; it works best at building Web apps, still one of the main apps every shop must handle.

The jury is still out on how such tactical solutions fit in with SOA. SearchSOA.com recently pulled together coverage related to these so-called lightweight frameworks in a handy container called the ''Lightweight Framework Resource Guide.'' We hope you may find it a useful source on this vibrant area of software development.

Last year saw a tremendous upsurge in interest in cloud computing. It promises a new architecture to provide scalability on demand. The first rush has subsided, and now people are asking deeper questions, such as 'does cloud computing create vendor lock-in?' Expert Daniel Rubio tells us that reliance on a single cloud provider can be an issue, with little if any alternatives in the face of low quality service or price increments. Check out ''Cloud computing standards: Deploying and scaling services without lock-in.''

Moving from concept to execution always entails some surprise and some struggle. Such issues are behind the discussion SearchSOA.com recently had with Chris Harding, Forum Director for SOA and Semantic Interoperability at The Open Group. With SOA, which, as it rolls out for real, finds a few people dropping off the bandwagon, we have reached a new stage.

That means SOA is no longer a play thing. "People are doing things with SOA," says Harding. You can hear him on our recent SearchSOA.com podcast entitled: ''No longer a toy - Dr. Harding on SOA.''

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