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For a complete list of the co-authors and contributors, see the end of the article. A cloud service in Windows Azure will typically have multiple concurrent instances. Each instance may be running all or a part of the service's codebase. As a developer, you control the number and type of roles that you want running your service. Web Roles and Worker Roles Windows Azure roles are comparable to standard Visual Studio projects, where each instance represents a separate project. These roles represent different types of applications that are natively supported by Windows Azure. There are two types of roles that you can use to host services with Windows Azure: Web roles Worker roles Web roles provide support for HTTP and HTTPS through public endpoints and are hosted in IIS. They are most comparable to regular ASP.NET projects, except for differences in their configuration... (more)

A Look Ahead to the Service-Oriented World

BEA recently announced that it is broadening its SOA consulting practice, and that it has created a tool companies can use to learn about SOA and figure out how prepared they are to transition to the new architectural model. While BEA and other major vendors, such as IBM and Microsoft, continue to deepen their investments in SOA, many of us are still struggling to understand what SOA actually is. How well do you know SOA? If you were asked to write a definition right now, what would it be? One of the challenges has always been to distinguish SOA from a standard distributed archit... (more)

Exclusive SOA Web Services Journal Briefing – Thomas Erl On SOA

With the unwavering prominence of service-oriented architecture (SOA) there is an increasing interest in understanding what exactly it means for something to be considered "service-oriented." Thomas Erl recently completed a lengthy research project for SOA Systems Inc. into the origins of SOA and the current state of service-orientation among all primary SOA technology platforms. This body of work contributed to the mainstream SOA methodology developed by SOA Systems and was also documented in Thomas's new book, Service-Oriented Architecture: Concepts, Technology, and Design. We ... (more)

SOA Pattern of the Week (#2): Non-Agnostic Context

Should a service only be considered a service if it's reusable? The answer to this question, as asserted by this pattern, is a firm "no." While agnostic services (services providing multi-purpose logic with reuse potential, as per the Agnostic Context pattern), receive the most attention during service modeling and design phases, it can often be short-sighted to focus only on agnostic service logic. Non-agnostic logic represents any type of functionality that is unique to a given business process or task. In other words, non-agnostic logic is single-purpose in nature and therefo... (more)

SOA Pattern of the Week (#3): Domain Inventory

Enterprise-wide harmonization is a desirable and ideal target state that fully supports pretty much everything SOA and service-orientation stand for. For those that have achieved such a state, bless your standardized hearts. You have accomplished something that has eluded many others. However, not attaining this state does not mean you cannot successfully adopt SOA. In some circles it has become common to view an SOA initiative as an all-or-nothing proposition that demands an uncompromising commitment to an enterprise-wide transformation effort. For those that subscribe to this vi... (more)