Software + Services: An Architectural Perspective

Technology advances are yet again causing a disruption in the use of IT which will have a significant impact on organizations. This article looks at this disruption; the melding of SOA and Web 2.0 into a Software + Services model and the opportunity for innovation that it will generate.
The Consumer Web (Web 2.0) and the enterprise Web (SOA) both have value and applicability. The consumer Web is valuable when responsiveness and scale are important, and the enterprise Web when security and integrity are paramount. It is highly unlikely that organizations will either replace all their present systems or find the security and data integrity available in the consumer world to be appropriate to business-critical information, but they will want to take advantage of Web 2.0 levels of responsiveness and flexibility. Organizations will add service support to their present server software-based IT systems and use supplied services from SaaS-based Web 2.0 systems to create a melded software + services approach based on loosely connected message-passing systems. This will allow organizations to ensure the appropriate levels of data security, availability, responsiveness, and flexibility to their organization, their partners, and their customers.

In this joint SOA and Web 2.0—or Software+Services—world, services will be supplied from service suppliers and/or enterprises and will be composited into new services, or they will be mashed up on the device to produce secure, flexible, and adaptable systems. So, for example, an Enterprise search system will include internet search from a SaaS provider such as live search, an internal search system running on an organization’s SharePoint servers, and a desktop search on individual devices to provide a composite search experience.

Microsoft believes that a "one size fits all" based approach of either all server-based software or all SaaS services will not be appropriate for the organization of the future. Further, Microsoft believes that the enterprise will include individual device, server, and SaaS-supplied ervices in a client/server/service configuration to provide a complete service platform.

On top of this service platform, there are a number of cross-platform functions that are required, such as identity and relationship management, search and discovery services, communication and collaboration services, and content creation and management services. These provide user, consumer, partner, and enterprise support across the complete Software + Services or Services platform layer for areas such as search, e-mail, instant messaging, blogs, and wikis. These cross-service platform functions build a federated infrastructure layer across the organizationally distributed services platform and use one another to provide a complete service platform.

More here….


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