Service-oriented architecture (SOA) references a set of principles and methodologies applied by software engineers to design and develop software in the form of interoperable services. Services are usually built in the form of components that can be reused for different purposes than originally intended. For this reason, the interfaces are often defined in a practical manner, allowing use across varying applications and multiple platforms.
SOA's primary goal is to provide agility to businesses, allowing them to adapt quickly and cost-efficiently to changes in the marketplace. SOA separates functions into well-defined components, which computer developers make accessible as services over a network. This makes it possible to run SOA on a variety of distributed platforms, which can be accessed across various networks. Data sharing between different applications is the heart of SOA business applications. These applications are designed to work with APIs, which result in application integration and functionality sharing. Systems located in the same enterprise, as well as different ones, achieve business process integration while adhering to a standardized business process model. The SOA repository is a database containing metadata, or large amounts of data, which is interactive and constantly changing. This repository allows business-to-business communications through Web services. Test measurements are validated within SOA repositories and workflow support exists throughout the repositories. The SOA repository also includes schemata, policies and processes, which involve the principles and methodologies critical to SOA.
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