SOA: It’s Not Just for the Fortune 500

Service-oriented architecture (SOA) seems to be a hot topic in IT today, but many small- and medium-sized business leaders might think that—because of complexity, cost or both—that these solutions are only for giant companies and beyond their reach. Not so, said Cristian Sturek, the founder and principal SOA architect of Simi Valley, Calif-based firm XWebServices, which provides SOA analysis to smaller enterprises in the financial, health care, and real estate and mortgage banking industries.

Companies of all sizes can benefit from SOA, which is often inaccurately described as a new concept, he said. “Service-oriented architecture itself is nothing new. The concept of exposing different business processes and incorporating them into applications has been around for a long time. What is fueling this new SOA approach is the advent of Web services themselves—XML and SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol)-based Web services—which are standard-based. Thus, every single business process that gets created and exposed as a Web service now has a standardized way of being incorporated with the other services across the enterprise. This has been the reason why SOA has all of a sudden become so mainstream in the IT world today.”

The major players such as Microsoft, Accenture and PriceWaterhouseCoopers in the SOA space offer solutions that are more suited for companies of their own size, Sturek said. “I believe that small- to medium-sized companies have a much different need: They don’t have the capital and they probably don’t have the expertise that larger companies have. What…



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