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Aligning SOA

In this tip, Thomas Erl discusses the commonality of SOA vendor platforms.

Multiple vendors in the SOA space have published papers, blueprints and frameworks based on proprietary technologies. In your book, you write that "…because a core expectation of SOA is its ability to harmonize and streamline diverse technical environments, preserving an abstract viewpoint is required to achieving its potential." Do you foresee a problem with different SOA vendors using proprietary technologies, and what can be done to remedy the problem?

You will see an increasing amount of vendors trying to distinguish themselves as SOA becomes more commonplace. In fact, the SOA marketplace is expected to become the most competitive ever. As part of this trend, vendors will continue to produce and extend product roadmaps that provide paths for realizing a variation of SOA that is more specific to their platform.

There is, however, a good deal of commonality - both functionally and conceptually - across primary SOA vendor platforms. By focusing on these common characteristics, organizations can design their implementation of SOA in alignment with an industry perspective that avoids restrictive ties to any one proprietary roadmap (which also establishes a healthy abstraction of the architecture from its implementation options).

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