Service oriented architecture (SOA) is a paradigm for organizing a set of capabilities, often distributed across the network and possibly under the control of different ownership domains. The organized capabilities can be used to provide solutions to business problems. A business problem is broadly defined as any problem, in any domain of interest, encountered by an individual or organization as it goes about its business. SOA is applied to business problems that are amenable to information technology solutions. Services are made visible to potential users, interact with users through a series of information exchanges, and produce real-world effects. Invocation and information exchange rely on standard languages and protocols that facilitate interoperability. From a user's perspective, invoking a service to produce an intended effect is experienced as a single, atomic operation. The detailed sequence of actions carried out by the service may involve any number of operations such as database queries, data transformations, execution of models, and formatting of displays. These operations may themselves be composed of lower level operations. The data and/or software modules required to perform the operations may reside at different physical locations and be controlled by different organizations. The details of composing the sequence of actions that produces the real world effect are transparent to the user interacting with the service. SOA frees users to concentrate on their business problem, leaving the details of the solution to the service. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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