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Is REST remaking SOA? Gateways add features

Lightweight REST-based SOA is beginning to exist aside established enterprise SOA. Crosscheck’s Mamoon Yunus discusses the trend.

Image goes hereMamoon Yunus

It was all a bit of a whirl when we caught up with Mamoon Yunus, CEO of Crosscheck Networks, at a Gartner event in December.  The topic on the docket then has more momentum today. So we decided to revisit our notes and share this take on strong-walled SOA gateways, lightweight SOA, REST and mobile applications. –J. Vaughan, site editor.

SearchSOA: How is SOA today relating to new interest in REST and mobile application building?

Mamoon Yunus: Primarily what we're seeing is that companies have invested a lot in building a SOA infrastructure and now they're extending that through various channels to mobile computing, more lightweight applications—whether it's on an iPad or whether it's on a Smartphone. Because of that, they need to use lighter weight protocols such as REST while still leveraging the investment that they've made in the enterprise using SOA, more reliable, secure communication.

What they've realized is that if you can use REST on the outside and Web services, SOA, SOAP XML on the inside, that gives you the reliability internally as well as the flexibility and lightweight that's required on the outside for communication to mobile devices. It's an ideal way of using the right protocol in the right framework for the right type of device and application. That's a trend that we see that's going to continue for a while. I think it provides great value for customers that have invested in a robust infrastructure.

What trends do you see in the overall industry in terms of what gateways are going to add in the year 2012?

Yunus: Most of the heavy-lifting has been done. From a communication perspective, we're seeing evolution in token types. Tokens such as Oauth and Open ID are becoming more prevalent and are being used. We're seeing that companies are becoming a lot more confident about infrastructure, whether it's through an iAS type of infrastructure, or through SaaS or through PaaS. But mostly SaaS and iAS are the dominant pieces that enterprises are using. They're deploying these gateways to bridge between the enterprise infrastructure and the external public cloud providers or public SaaS providers.

What we're seeing is that that bridging is becoming a very dominant theme into 2012. Those who've invested in their SOA infrastructure wisely are really well-positioned to rapidly extend their infrastructure and get a savings advantage as well as a competitive advantage by integrating with these third-party providers.

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