Hands-On SOA - InformationWeek
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8/9/2005
02:22 PM
Alice LaPlante
Alice LaPlante
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Hands-On SOA

This week we had a plethora of superb hands-on features on service-oriented architectures (SOAs). The first one was a review of Axis 1.2.1 by our chief SOA reviewer, Shane Turner. Shane points out that as more companies turn to Web services as a viable means of deploying light-weight, distributed application components, the matter of adhering to accepted standards becomes paramount. One such standard that many companies and organiza

This week we had a plethora of superb hands-on features on service-oriented architectures (SOAs).

The first one was a review of Axis 1.2.1 by our chief SOA reviewer, Shane Turner. Shane points out that as more companies turn to Web services as a viable means of deploying light-weight, distributed application components, the matter of adhering to accepted standards becomes paramount. One such standard that many companies and organizations have adopted is the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). SOAP 1.2 (the current specification level) is an XML-based protocol and encoding format that facilitates inter-application communication across many different hardware/software platforms.In June of 2005, the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) released version 1.2.1 of their third generation open-source SOAP engine called Axis -- the Apache eXtensible Interaction System. As a SOAP engine, Axis acts as platform-neutral middleware by acting as a server to Web clients, and as a client of Web servers. And since Axis can be downloaded for free from the ws.apache.org Web site, there is no more cost-effective way for developers to implement a SOAP-based middleware solution. Shane recommends it highly.

Then we had a fascinating case study about British American Tobacco embarking on an SOA. We're guided through the process by Kevin Poulter, the application development manager for BAT, who first says that SOA may be a hot buzzword right now, but when it comes to implementing a comprehensive IT-business strategy for a $45 billion multinational, buzzwords don't mean much. Then he goes on to explain that BAT's new SOA vision is based on his company's belief that simply adopting Web services standards isn't enough. SOA was critical because it was time for an "industrial revolution." Read on to see what BAT did to make this revolution come about.

Finally, we had a review of Sonic's ESB version 6.1. Our reviewer, Jeff Cooper, explains how the Sonic SOA offering balances flexibility and maturity through its flexible and highly scalable architecture that embraces open standards. Jeff also describes Sonic's hub-and-spoke architecture and explains how it allows services to be fully distributed across corporate domains and geographic sites, significantly enhances extensibility and scalability.

You should also check out our news stories for the week, which include reports on an upgrade of IBM's Websphere Portal, and Yahoo's release of shopping APIs for developers who want to search the portal's shopping database and display prices and other information for products on their Web sites.

That's it for this week. Email me with any comments or questions on these stories or anything else we've posted on SOA Pipeline. And have a good one.

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