The ideas of services and Service–Oriented Architecture (SOA) are widely regarded as fundamental in enhancing information technology (IT) productivity. They are seen as a way of reducing the time, risk, and cost of development, including architecture, design, and implementation. Experience to date shows that the SOA approach is one of the most effective strategies devised for solving the perennial problems of development productivity and risk. And, improved productivity and reduced risk translate to greater responsiveness to change. IT systems can therefore be more effectively aligned with business requirements.
But what exactly are services and SOA, and how do they enhance the process of developing new IT capabilities? This white paper provides some answers to these questions. It describes the basic concepts behind services and SOA and shows how they can be applied in practice, including the reuse of existing IT assets such as Unisys ClearPath and other mainframe–based applications and databases.
This paper is one of a number of white papers about different aspects of SOA, middleware, and ClearPath systems. Each paper is designed to be self–contained and does not require any other paper to be read first.