[clug] Web services / SOA reference

Richard richard_c at tpg.com.au
Thu Dec 15 12:33:08 GMT 2005

I can offer a brain for picking, but books on the topic are more or less 
crap. The prize for the "most often used, most poorly defined" buzzword 
goes to "ESB" (Enterprise Service Bus) which means "software suite that 
provides SOA infrastructure, and stuff...". In my mind, any ESB that 
uses HTTP for its transport mechanism is a pathetic imitation - I'd 
expect to see some connectionless messaging in there, but perhaps that's 
my Tibco background coming through. Then again, the idea of an 
enterprise-wide messaging bus is originally a TIBCO (The Information Bus 
COmpany) idea, from about 10-15 years ago.

Web services: SOAP over HTTP. If anyone tries to make it more complex, 
they're trying to sell you something.

SOA: Service Oriented Architecture; using defined interfaces for 
systems, generally defined by a WSDL file. SOA is the general case of 
web services. I'm currently pulling SOAP over JMS together for a client. 
The implications for this are very broad if taken as gospel. The 
Register's writers suggest that it redefines the way IT and business 
interact, and I'd tend to agree with that point of view. SOA is really a 
"style" of design. The "art" of SOA is figuring out where your service 
boundaries lie, and why. Once you figure out what each service is, then 
the rest of the architecture tends to fall into place.

I can go on, and on, and on about this; but I fear that I risk boring 
everyone senseless. Technically challenging it is not, and 
Linux-specific is its antithesis.

BTW, where's Canberra's IT headed these days? I've been in London for 5 
years, and SOA is all the rage, JBoss is doing big business, and Linux 
is taking chunks out of everything about it. The ESB vendors are pretty 
happy with their goings on, IBM and BEA are still kicking along quite 
nicely (BEA's Aqualogic suite is sweet indeed), but my home ground of 
Tibco has gone off the boil.


Eyal Lebedinsky wrote:

>I want to gain good understanding of this subject as it is
>used in the industry. I would like to start with some good
>reference books that review the subject before I look at the
>please give me your personal recommendations.
>I probably already understand the technologies but need to know
>what framework is expected when people use these terms. It should
>come as no surprise to some people to know that I am not a
>great follower of paradigms and buzzwords having seen too
>many go in and out of fashion, but this time I need to get
>a handle on this.

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