The purpose of this article is to present the framework of the SOA to analyse the service structure in the networked and virtual working environments in higher education. The approach developed in this article is planned to be generic so that it can be applied to various kinds of organisations and networks for the analysis and management of services. This approach helps an organisation to reengineer the architecture of ICT environments. The architecture is useful for the planning of networked learning community. This article is intended for managers and other experts who may wish to familiarise with the benefits and opportunities provided by the SOA.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Process Modelling: This activity represents both the current and future processes of an organisation so that the current processes may be analysed, developed, and described. The process descriptions and improvements may or may not be the basis for the information systems, but typically, the new information systems require process modelling. The term of the business process modelling is used in enterprises to improve process efficiency and quality.
Higher Education Institution (HEI): Higher education institutions include traditional universities and profession-oriented institutions, which are in Finland called the universities of applied sciences or polytechnics.
Knowledge intensive business services (KIBS): Services and business operations that are profoundly reliant on professional knowledge. They are mainly concerned with providing knowledge-intensive support for the internal processes of other organisations.
Value Chain: Value chain is a string of organisations or organisational units working together to satisfy market demands or customer needs. The value chain may consist of one or a few value suppliers and many other suppliers that add on the value that is finally presented to the customer.
Networked learning community: Learning community is a group of people in an educational context who is actively engaged in learning together and from each other. In networked learning, information and communication technology is used to promote connections between learners, tutors, and learning resources.
Component-based architecture (CBA): Software solutions are collected from components. The architecture produces flexible applications that have “plug and play” nature. The architecture consists of reusable components.
Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA): Service orientation describes an architecture that uses loosely coupled services to support the users and the requirements of the internal processes of organisations. The environment based on the SOA utilises the resources of a network made available as independent services so that they can be accessed without knowledge of their underlying platform implementation.