Web Developers Can Thrive In SOA

    July 31, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Service-oriented architectures have gained in mindshare and adoption, and require the support of a diverse team to make them useful to their target audience.

Days of happily coding dynamic, functional web pages suddenly have a dark cloud pass over them. The powers-that-be have decided to implement a service-oriented architecture (SOA) into the business.

IBM has noted in an article on developing the SOA team internally requires an assortment of roles taking their places in the group.

Developers have a spot, along with architects, business analysts, and project managers; naturally various tech support areas have roles as well. We’re only worried about the developers here. Project managers can go play with their BlackBerries or shift some paradigms if they like.

What SOA does is to promote the delivery of services that are integrated with business processes to the people who use those services. Instead of a bunch of applications eating space on hundreds of desktop PCs, users access what they need and are allowed to have from their workstations across the network.

Since the web browser has started to become what Microsoft feared of Netscape, an environment that renders the underlying operating system irrelevant to the browser, developers must craft the technology people will use to access applications through it.

IBM emphasized in its discussion of SOA roles that developers do something they may be averse to doing: reusing code for services. They explain why developers should reuse instead of reinvent:

Successful SOA developers understand business processes and functionality. They appropriately build the services required to satisfy the business processes. It becomes increasingly important to enforce good design principles for error handling, tracking/auditing, data translation, and security, and to make sure they are incorporated into any service code.

Fortunately, the reference material and other sources of information about web services should make developers the best suited to the SOA transition. You’ll know if this is true when the project managers come by to ask a lot of questions about SOA.

Discuss this article with your fellow WebPros at WebProWorld.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.