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Service Oriented Architecture - GovITwiki

Service Oriented Architecture

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Introduction to SOA

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is not a specific technology. Rather, its an system and architectural approach that is primarily focused on business process and shared resources.

Properly implemented, SOA holds the promise of increased agility for government agencies and long term cost savings. SOA supports the implementation of business and IT processes thorough services and associated service level agreements which provide a tacit agreement between the provider of the service and the user of the service


Relationship to the Federal Enterprise Architecture

The Federal Enterprise Architecture and SOA are interlaced, because they both are focused on business processes and standardization. They also provide a link between development strategy, business and application technologies. In many cases, SOA is a critical component in implementing an EA ( I think that this is a key point to emphasize since we need to continue moving EA from being a "compliance-driven" exercise to one that is results driven and becomes a true value proposition)

1. As an architecture SOA’s relationship to EA can be seen in each component architecture view e.g.: · A Business Architecture · An Information Architecture · An Application Architecture · A Technical Architecture · An Implementation Architecture · An Operational Architecture

2. Enterprise Architecture is all about who, what, when, where, why, how, and how much. Each is also central to SOAs. EA relates the organizational relationships and roles in business processes to Service Points (a visible service).

3. Representing services in EAs requires extensions to extant EA frameworks (FEA, DODAF etc.) a. To support SOA Interoperability EA products need to be extended as specified in an SOA framework b. The core concept of SOA (services) need to be understood and viewable across the multiple perspectives contained within an EA framework (e.g. Zachman). EA frameworks have multiple views (e.g. business, technical), but SOA provides a single services view for both technical and business.

4. SOA and Event Driven Architectures are compatible and necessary to reflect real business transactions. Both expand the original abstract framework models for EA.

5. SOA focuses on business processes, business services – EAs, especially when supplemented by extensions provides an abstract, integrated context in which to describe an organization’s business services

6. Architectures are designed not built – systems are built. Both architectures (SOA, EA) provide perspective.


7. Clear definitions which show the relation of SOAs & EA along with the component architectures listed in message #1

8. As an architecture SOA provides a bridge between Business Objectives and Information Technology through a service orientation

9. We may view SOA as a subset of EA, because SOA represents an architecture style of designing application architecture, whereas EA is much more than that.

10. Natural synergies exist between the disciplines of SOA and EA – SOA is an example of doing “good enterprise architecture” and helps realize that architectural vision.

11. SOA can affect all aspects of EA, such as: a. All architecture views (e.g., business architecture, application architecture) b. Transition plan c. Governance (including, standards, architecture review process, investment, etc.) d. Enterprise-wide reuse program

12. Using a diagram and supporting verbiage, clarify the relationship between EA and SOA. Here’s an example: (Comment on graphic: represent EA frameworks or metamodel surrounding top two architecture blocks.)

Federal SOA Efforts

The Open Forum on Developing a Practical Guide to Federal Service Oriented Architecture (PGFSOA): This is an activity of the Services Subcommittee and the Governance Subcommittee of the Architecture and Infrastructure Committee of the Federal CIO Council. It's stated goal is to advance shared understanding of SOA potentials and realities in the Federal setting through open, collaborative development of a Practical Guide to Federal SOA. The Form has an active discussion group on the federal ColabWiki that is coordinated by GSA.

Visit the PGFSOA Wiki site.


The National Institute of Standards and Technology offers a 128-page guide to help explain to government agencies the various security challenges of Web services within service-oriented architecture.

NIST Special Publication 800-95, “Guide to Secure Web Services,” provides practical guidance on existing and emerging standards as they are applied to Web services. The guide also offers background information on general security threats to SOAs based on Web services.

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