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Business Benefits of SOA Standards – Why are Standards Important for Customers

 

By Julia Doll, SAP NetWeaver Product Management – SOA middleware

 

 

Customers nowadays want to have the power to decide which products they use. They want to stay flexible and combine software from different providers. Therefore, the different competitors developed products, which are capable of being integrated. For simplifying integration, they all follow the same open standards. Enabling communication between products demands transformation of data between different formats. Therefore, with the use of standards, integration is ensured without transformation efforts and leads to higher ROI.

 

The concept of SOA is based on open standards. Systems and applications are interoperable, easily integrated using standards and the development of those applications is simple and fast. This will shrink the costs radically over time once it is implemented in a company.

 

The three most important SOA standards are: WSDL, UDDI and SOAP. WSDL defines the description of a Service, UDDI offers guidelines about the search and publish functionality a Registry should offer and SOAP is determining the messaging protocol used for service calls and error messages.

 

Various Organizations defined those standards for SOA. Each is focused on slightly different areas to cover all aspects of SOA. To ensure that big companies like IBM, SAP, Oracle etc follow those guidelines they became members of that organizations. They work out agreements on standards. Some of the main organizations for developing SOA or Web standards are the following: OASIS, W3C, WS-I, UN/CEFACT and OSOA.

 

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Amongst others, they defined the above-mentioned standards.

 

One of the future benefits of using standards will be enabling automation of searching, discovering and calling a service:

SOA was invented to enable computers to automatically access information on other computers in the World Wide Web (WWW), which was already possible for humans by using web interfaces. Due to that fact, all the standards of SOA are based on XML, which is a standard representation format for data. Standards make it possible to enable computers process the data on their own, because all used formats are predefined. So they should be enabled to search, find and use a service without human intervention.

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