SOA Approach to Integration

I recently read the book ‘SOA Approach to Integration’. On before hand I was a bit sceptical, because of the SOA hype a lot of books are introducing webservices and SOA again and again. But overall I liked the book. It reads fast and it doesn’t spend too much time explaining the basic concepts and standards. However, all concepts are explained good enough for non-experienced readers.

SOA Approach to IntegrationThe book first explains the basic concepts of integration, SOA, POA (Process Oriented Architecture) and webservices. After that it goes into using XML for integration. This topic isn’t too technical, but it goes deep enough to give the reader a good overview of the possibilities and design decisions of XML for integration. The patterns part wasn’t very extensive. How too use webservices and BPEL for integration is extensively explained. I did like the practical viewpoint of the writers.

I recommend this book for everyone who needs an introduction or quick overview in the SOA approach to integration. It gives a nice overview for both technical and non-technical people.

Information from the publisher:

This book shows how to define SOA integration architecture, what technologies to use, and how to best integrate existing applications with modern e-business solutions. The book also shows how to develop web services, how to process and manage XML documents from JEE and .NET platforms, and how to use ESBs and BPEL executable business processes within SOA architecture.

In Detail

Integration of applications within a business and between different businesses is becoming more and more important. The needs for up-to-date information that is accessible from almost everywhere and developing e-business solutions — particularly business to business — require that developers find solutions for integrating diverse, heterogeneous applications, developed in different architectures and programming languages and on different platforms. They have to do this quickly and cost effectively, but still preserve the architecture and deliver robust solutions that are maintainable over time.

Integration is a difficult task. This book focuses on the SOA approach to integration of existing (legacy) applications and newly developed solutions, using modern technologies, particularly web services, XML, ESB, and BPEL. The book shows how to define SOA for integration, what integration patterns to use, which technologies to use, and how to best integrate existing applications with modern e-business solutions. It also shows how to develop web services and BPEL processes, and how to process and manage XML documents from the JEE and .NET platforms. Finally, it also explains how to integrate both platforms using web services and ESBs.

What you will learn from this book

  • How to design and develop SOA for integration
  • Integration architecture patterns, principles, and best practices, with focus on the process-centric SOA approach
  • The role of XML, web services, and ESBs in SOA for integration
  • The role of service composition and BPEL in integration
  • J2EE and .NET integration
  • Why and how to use web services and XML for integration

In Chapter 1 you will get an overview of the challenges in integration and learn why integration is one of the most difficult problems in application development. We also identify the best strategies for SOA-based integration and discuss top-down, bottom-up, and inside-out approaches. You will learn about different types of integration, such as data-level integration, application integration, business process integration, presentation integration, and also B2B integration.

Chapter 2 will help you understand what SOA is. You will see that SOA is a very comprehensive enterprise integration paradigm that builds on many existing concepts. Web services standards provide a strong foundation for SOA infrastructure. You will also learn about the Enterprise Services Bus which is presently one of the leading integration infrastructure options.

Chapter 3 discusses various design anomalies that may arise while designing XML schemas. Some of the broad categories covered in this chapter are design recommendations for architecting domain-specific XML Schemas, tips for designing XML schemas with examples, using XSL effectively for translating Infosets from one form to another, securing XML documents with encryption and digital signature, and XML serialization and the differences between SAX, DOM, and StAX.

Chapter 4 discusses the architecture of web services and its benefits. The chapter provides an in-depth coverage of the various patterns that can be applied while creating SOA using web services. You will learn the essential differences between EAI and B2B and how to apply SOA integration techniques in this space. The chapter also discusses several guidelines for creating interoperable web services. Finally, a complete, albeit trivial, example of creating web services on the .NET and Java EE platforms is discussed.

In Chapter 5, you will become familiar with the BPEL language and a process-oriented approach to integration. The characteristics of process-oriented integration architectures are discussed. You will learn how to identify business services and service lifecycles. Then the role of executable business processes, which reduce the semantic gap between business and IT, is explained. The chapter introduces the most important technology—BPEL. You will learn about characteristics of BPEL and identify the differences between executable and abstract processes. The basic BPEL concepts and the role of WSDL will be discussed.

In Chapter 6, you will see how ESB provides a concrete infrastructure for SOA, extending the simple services model to include a robust services bus with extensive mediation functionality.


After explaining the challenges, levels, and strategies of integration the book explains SOA, web services, and the Enterprise Services Bus before covering processing XML and web services on the .Net and JEE platforms in more detail. Then it covers BEPL and demonstrates service composition into business processes with a realistic, although simple example BPEL process. Finally it shows how ESB provides a concrete infrastructure for SOA.

Who this book is written for

This book is for architects and senior developers who are responsible for setting up SOA for integration for applications within the enterprise (intra-enterprise integration) and applications across enterprises (inter-enterprise integration or B2B).

2 Comments Added

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  1. software development uk October 1, 2009 | Reply

    That was inspiring,
    SAO has been on my mind since the beginning of this year. It’s getting really popular.

  2. Software Developer October 13, 2011 | Reply

    Integration is what?? is it beneficial in our future?? but thanks it was a great post..

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