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Thomas Erl

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Top Stories by Thomas Erl

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 caught up with Thomas (a previous contributor to WSJ) to ask him to share some of the insights he gained from his work with SOA and service-orientation. There's no need to mention that SOA has become a major focal point of the IT industry and a primary consideration on numerous corporate agen... (more)

Cloud Computing, SOA and Windows Azure

For a complete list of the co-authors and contributors, see the end of the article. Microsoft's Software-plus-Services strategy represents a view of the world where the growing feature-set of devices and the increasing ubiquity of the Web are combined to deliver more compelling solutions. Software-plus-Services represents an evolutionary step that is based on existing best practices in IT and extends the application potential of core service-orientation design principles. Microsoft's efforts to embrace the Software-plus-Services vision are framed by three core goals: User expe... (more)

Introducing SOA Design Patterns

Originally inspired by techniques used to design buildings and cities, and popularized by the Gang of Four during the mainstream emergence of object-orientation, design patterns have seen us through the various shifts in architecture, technology, and, of course, design. Pattern catalogs have periodically emerged, one building on the other, and each revealing a set of problem-solving techniques and providing invaluable insights as to how and when those techniques should be used to help us attain our design goals. SOA has its own history, having risen out of a haze of ambiguity to e... (more)

SOA Pattern of the Week (#1): Service Façade

One of the fundamental goals when designing service-oriented solutions is to attain a reduced degree of coupling between services, thereby increasing the freedom and flexibility with which services can be individually evolved. Achieving the right level of coupling "looseness" is most often considered a design issue that revolves around the service contract and the consumer programs that form dependencies upon it. However, for the service architect there are opportunities to establish intermediate layers of abstraction within the service implementation that further foster reduced... (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)