SOA stands for Service-Oriented Architecture. It is a design pattern that is produced to build distributed systems that deliver services to several applications through the protocol. It is a concept and not defined to any programming language or platform.
It is an architectural design in computer software design in which application components support services to other components via a connection protocol, generally over a network. The features of service-orientation are autonomous of any product, vendor, or technology.
SOA creates it easier for software components over several networks to work with each other. Web services that are built as per the SOA architecture tend to make web services more independent. The web services can exchange information with each other and because of the basic principles on which they are generated, they don’t require any sort of human interaction and also don’t require some code modifications. It provides that the internet services on a network can connect seamlessly.
A business process involves interactions among various organizational units, which translates into a business process automation requiring interactions with the various applications in an organization.
The major challenges faced by the IT organization when integrating these applications relate to the integration of different domains, architecture, and technologies. These challenges necessitate a well-planned EAI strategy and architecture.
There are two main forms of EAI as the first one integrates applications within a company (intra-EAI) and serves the first business need. The second form (inter-EAI) relates to B2B integration and serves the second business need.
There are several strategies available for EAI as follows −
Applications Interface Integration − One application can share some functionality residing in other applications. It allows sharing of application components.
Business Method Integration − One application can share business services provided by the other applications.
Presentation Integration − It provides a unified view of data to the end-user.
B2B Integration − It provides integration of applications residing in two different organizations.
The best strategy for EAI is Business Method Integration, which allows one application to use the business services provided by the other applications. It makes B2B integration easier, which boils down to the choice of technologies for protocol and transport.
A protocol defines the ‘language’ for the communication and transport carries the messages as per the protocol from one application to another. The service-oriented architecture (SOA) acts as an enabler to the Business Method Integration strategy. SOA is the proponent of business-driven application architecture, rather than technology-driven application architecture, where a business service can be readily mapped to a technology component in an application.