Enterprises today, suffer various architectural problems that can be productively resolved by the integration services offered by the SOA (Service-Oriented Architecture). SOA is a simple concept and a valid approach to fix broken architectures using standards such as web services that aids in bringing a great degree of architectural agility to an organisation.
The Potential Of SOA
Service-Oriented Architecture can be defined as an SOA pattern in the form of a software design, where application components offer services to other components through a communications protocol over a network. It is generally, a collection of services that communicate with one another for passing a simple data or coordination of an activity through communication of two or more services.
Optimally using the SOA across an enterprise can assist in rapid integration of business processes, information and applications to significantly explore the data resources that stimulate better decision making and innovative work processes.
How Businesses Can Leverage Benefits From SOA?
Creating architecture based upon the use of services such as producing data, providing analytical services and validating customers, constitutes the SOA approach. The SOA integration services largely focus on creating and implementing an IT infrastructure that works efficiently through the integration of applications in a dedicated SOA environment.
By reusing the existing assets, the services connect in the infrastructure creating governance and oversight to bring down the risks affecting the SOA plans. Thus, SOA actually deals with fixing the existing architectures by considering major systems as services and dissociating them in a single domain, where they get processed to become solutions.
Since the interactions within the SOA architecture operate independently, they are high adaptable and allow for service reuse when upgrades and amendments are required. This helps businesses in saving a huge amount of capital and their precious time too. Along with agility in business, SOA is also responsible for providing time to market benefits. SOA composes the use of orchestration engines or implements leveraging deployment environments to help in building applications very quickly.
RESTful Web Services
Another form of integration services is RESTful web services, where REST stands for Representational State Transfer and a service based on REST is known as a RESTful service. Networked hypermedia applications having an architectural style and mainly used to build web services of maintainable, lightweight and scalable nature is called REST. No protocol binds REST, while the HTTP poses as the underlying protocol for every RESTful service.
Since its inception more than a decade ago, REST has emerged to be one of the most important technologies for building web applications. Signalling that its significance is going to boost further is the fact that every development language nowadays comprise of frameworks, which assist in developing RESTful web services.
RESTful Web Services Features:-
Resources like video files, web pages, pictures, business information, etc., that can be interpreted in a computer based system is used by every system. Enabling users to access these resources is the basic purpose of a service. The RESTful web services are designed to make this service easy to deploy, highly maintainable, extensible and scalable too.
Since providing access to the resources is the focus of RESTful service, the first step in designing a database system requires identification of resources and their relation with one another. To represent these resources in the system, businesses must choose between JSON and XML, depending upon the requirement. A good quality of representation must be comprehensible for both the client and the server and should be able to appropriately represent a resource. Moreover, the representation should be able to establish a link between resources.
It is the messages that aid in communication between a client and a server. While the client sends requests to the server, the server send a response. The messages contain metadata apart from the actual data. These messages are sent in HTTP format, which comprises of a Verb, URI, HTTP Version, Request Header and Request Body. The response received in HTTP format generally includes HTTP Version, Response Code, Response Header and Response Body.
The RESTful service demands at least one URI for each resource and makes use of a directory of human readable URI to get these resources addressed. The main purpose of URI is identification of a resource or a group of resources. Since it is the HTTP verb that determines the actual operation to be carried out, the same URI with different HTTP verbs perform different actions.
4. Interface Standards
The RESTful system follows uniformity in interface as it incorporates HTTP 1.1 that provides a set of methods known as verbs. The set of methods comprise of components like GET, PUT, POST, DELETE, OPTIONS and HEAD, to ensure uniform interface but it is up to the developers and service architects to keep it uniform.
Being stateless, the application state for any client is not maintained by the RESTful service. Without depending upon any past request, the service attends every request independently. In order to implement HTTP with a stateful service, it becomes important to design the service so that a current request has no relation with a previous request. However, the stateless services are found to be easier to host, maintain and are scalable too.
6. Forms Links Between Resources
Representation of a resource may comprise link to other resources in the form of HTML pages containing links to other pages. In case of a website, the representations must be able to direct the process flow in a way that when a visitor enters any website, the index page appears with relevant web page links. These links drive the visitor to other links as the representation is in HTML format, thus enabling the user to navigate easily without requiring a map. A service too, should be designed to improve the user experience in similar fashion.
In case, similar requests arrive in future, it is the caching through which the generated results stored earlier are used, thus avoiding the need to generate it again. This function can be implemented on either the server or the client or proxy server as well. Over the years, it has been witnessed that caching is a great way of improving service performance but stringent management protocols must be followed to avoid inaccurate results from being generated.
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