Service Oriented Architecture
Service-centric software systems build on the SOA paradigm, which proposes to decouple service consumption from service implementation in terms of platform, location, availability, and versions. SOA concentrates on the specification and realization of services as entities. Currently, SOA services are mainly Web services, given their mature level of interoperability.
Systems composed of services represent a major shift from standard software components. Services can support the development of rapid, low-cost composition of distributed applications for use in an open way.
According to WinterGreen Research the SOA market will grow from $450 million in 2005 to reach $18.4 billion by 2012. The service-centric software systems paradigm will benefit both service engineers in this growing market as well as business end users. Service engineers need a unified way for developing and managing systems as well as proven tools to support their work. Business end users need more flexible, adaptable, interoperable, and manageable systems to reduce IT costs.