SOA, Web Services, Web 2.0, and Mashups

The emergence of Web services (WS) open standards has significantly contributed to advances in the domain of software integration. Web services can glue together applications running on different messaging product platforms, enabling information from one application to be made available to others, and enabling internal applications to be made available over the Internet.

Over the years a rich WS software stack has been specified and standardized, resulting in a multitude of technologies to describe, compose, and orchestrate services, package and transport messages between services, publish and discover services, represent quality of service (QoS) parameters, and ensure security in service access.

WS standards have been created on top of existing ubiquitous technologies such as HTTP and XML, thus providing a common mechanism for delivering services, making them ideal for implementing a service-oriented architecture (SOA). The purpose of a SOA is to address requirements of loosely coupled, standards-based, and protocol-independent distributed computing. In a SOA, software resources are packaged as “services,” which are well-defined, selfcontained modules that provide standard business functionality and are independent of the state or context of other services. Services are described in a standard definition language and have a published interface.

The maturity of WS has enabled the creation of powerful services that can be accessed on-demand, in a uniform way. While some WS are published with the intent of serving end-user applications, their true power resides in its interface being accessible by other services. An enterprise application that follows the SOA paradigm is a collection of services that together perform complex business logic.

This concept of gluing services initially focused on the enterprise Web, but gained space in the consumer realm as well, especially with the advent of Web 2.0. In the consumer Web, information and services may be programmatically aggregated, acting as building blocks of complex compositions, called service mashups. Many service providers, such as Amazon,, Facebook, and Google, make their service APIs publicly accessible using standard protocols such as SOAP and REST. Consequently, one can put an idea of a fully functional Web application into practice just by gluing pieces with few lines of code.

In the Software as a Service (SaaS) domain, cloud applications can be built as compositions of other services from the same or different providers. Services such user authentication, e-mail, payroll management, and calendars are examples of building blocks that can be reused and combined in a business solution in case a single, ready-made system does not provide all those features. Many building blocks and solutions are now available in public marketplaces. For example, Programmable Web1 is a public repository of service APIs and mashups currently listing thousands of APIs and mashups. Popular APIs such as Google Maps, Flickr, YouTube, Amazon eCommerce, and Twitter, when combined, produce a variety of interesting solutions, from finding video game retailers to weather maps. Similarly,’s offers AppExchange,2 which enables the sharing of solutions developed by third-party developers on top of components.

Source of Information : Wiley - Cloud Computing Principles and Paradigms 2011


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