Service-oriented architectures (SOA), mostly based on Web services (W3C), provide an industrial standard for deploying, publishing, discovering, and invoking enterprise’s services. From its emergence, many specialists have predicted that SOA will revolutionize the distributed computing paradigm and it will make various kinds of e-business (e.g., virtual enterprises, inter-enterprise collaboration, and ASP paradigms) a reality. This article examines the service-oriented architectures (SOA) applied to innovative organization schemes such as virtual enterprises (VE) to resolve the enterprise organizational structure integration problem. The evolution of software architectures from traditional to SOA is presented, along with the characteristics, advantages and disadvantages, and problems and difficulties in applying the SOA, while also focusing on the compatibility between SOA and modern organizational structures. The new standard in the service orchestration level BPEL is considered as a language for business process modelling and its impact to the integration problem is examined. New messaging protocols and frameworks such as the enterprise service bus (ESB) or messaging service bus are also examined. The main focus is on the SOA technology trends of modern organizational structures with regards their formation and integration. The comparison between SOA and traditional architectures provides a clear path to their adoption in various cases.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Organizational Model (of a Virtual Enterprise): The organizational view of enterprises that captures information about departments, roles, employees, partners and entire organizations.
Service-Oriented Architecture: A software architecture that starts with an interface definition and builds the entire application topology as a topology of interfaces, interface implementations and interface calls.
Web Services: Modular business services with each module fully implemented in software and delivered over the Internet. The modules can be combined, can come from any source, and can eventually be acquired dynamically and without human intervention when needed.
Virtual Enterprise: Set of economic actors, mainly enterprises, that combine their strengths to provide a specific service traditionally provided by a single enterprise.
Services: Software modules that are accessed by name via an interface typically in a request-reply mode.
Business Model (of a Virtual Enterprise): A set of linked activities that are distributed at member enterprises of the virtual enterprise and collectively realize its common business goal.
Data Model (of a Virtual Enterprise): The data model of the participating companies that captures various behavioural semantics of the business entities.