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Friday, October 19, 2007

Services and BPEL

Of late there is a lot happening on the service oriented architectures (SOA)

Approximately two years back, when the UK gas distribution networks have been sold to different private owners by the regulated business there was a need to "integrate" the business processes uniformly for the metering business work management applications where I first got into the this.

Is this new? when the c language programs were written a function used to provide a specific "service" to the calling function. It was call by value or call by reference and use of pointers that time. Later in multi processing systems the interprocess communication (ipc) was used to coordinate between the processes running on the same computer. Further to that the remote procedure call (rpc) came up. Multiple standards have come up from the rpc technology and with the advent of xml it finally transformed as web services.

SOA is not actually a software thing it is more of an architectural pattern. designing the business process as a loosely coupled services and orchestrating the web services using the business process managers is synonymously called as SOA.

The beauty of SOA's success is in the appeal of legacy wrapping. No need of re-writing the legacy application. One can still use the core COBOL back-end program with a wrapped adapter in a web service orchestrated SOA environment.

Care must be taken while designing and defining services and the work flow. Properly designed business processes with the aid of BPEL looks very promising for the future.
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