Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: AppNeta Blog, Elizabeth White, Gopala Krishna Behara, Sridhar Chalasani, Tirumala Khandrika

Related Topics: Microservices Expo

Microservices Expo: Article

Introducing SOA Design Patterns

The SOA community collaborates to produce a master pattern catalog dedicated to SOA

Design Patterns and Architecture Types
Each SOA design pattern provides a design solution in support of successfully applying service orientation and establishing a quality service-oriented architecture. Therefore, to better understand how and to what extent individual SOA design patterns can be applied, SOA as an architectural model itself needs to be broken down into the following types, each of which represent a common "scope of implementation":

  • Service Architecture: The architecture of a single service
  • Service Composition Architecture: The architecture of a set of services assembled into a service composition
  • Service Inventory Architecture: The architecture that supports a collection of related services that are independently standardized and governed
  • Service-Oriented Enterprise Architecture: The architecture of the enterprise to whatever extent it is service-oriented

In a typical enterprise, these architecture types are very much interrelated, yet each requires individual design attention and documentation.

About the Patterns
This article is roughly organized according to these architecture types and related patterns.

SOA design patterns collectively form a master pattern language that allows patterns to be applied in different combinations and sequences. There are also compound patterns that are comprised of multiple individual design patterns. (For example, the Enterprise Service Bus and orchestration both represent compound design patterns.)

SOA design patterns are not specific to any particular vendor platform or business industry; they are simply design techniques that help overcome common obstacles to achieving the strategic goals and benefits associated with SOA and service-oriented computing.

The remainder of this article highlights key design patterns while referencing a cross-section of others. Not all mentioned patterns are explained, but descriptions are freely available at the SOA patterns community site (www.soapatterns.org).

Patterns for Collections of Services
A service inventory represents a collection of independently standardized and governed services. As shown in Figure 1, the services you deliver for a given service inventory are standardized and designed according to service orientation so that they become intrinsically interoperable. This then allows you to draw from this pool of services to assemble and augment service compositions repeatedly.

Inventory Boundary Patterns
One of the biggest decisions a project team faces when starting an SOA initiative is determining the appropriate scope of a service inventory. The Enterprise Inventory and Domain Inventory design patterns help address this decision point by providing alternative approaches.

The goal of the Enterprise Inventory pattern is to establish an enterprise-wide service inventory. The end result of achieving this pattern is considered desirable because it enables you to build all of your services according to the same design conventions to ensure consistent and widespread inter-service compatibility. It further guarantees that all of the services will be owned and evolved by the same group or department, which is the ultimate in centralized governance.

Although ideal, this approach is often not realistic, especially for larger organizations. It can raise various issues, including time and budget constraints, cultural and political concerns, and order of magnitude considerations (especially in relation to the long-term growth and governance of the inventory). These issues can introduce risks and problems that outweigh the benefit potential of applying this pattern.

This is the reason the Domain Inventory pattern has become so popular. It advocates an approach whereby the enterprise is divided into segments (domains), each of which represents a meaningful cross-silo scope. Often, the boundary of a domain inventory architecture is aligned with a business domain (such as accounting or claims). Services delivered into this architectural boundary are subject to the same design standards and governance practices, allowing them to be evolved independently from neighboring domain inventories in the same enterprise.

Although the use of this pattern can introduce the need for cross-domain data model and protocol conversion (as per the Schema Transformation and Protocol Bridging patterns), there are additional patterns (such as Cross-Domain Utility Layer, Dual Protocols, and Inventory Endpoint) that help reduce this impact.

Inventory Structure Patterns
Regardless of its scope, within the boundary of a service inventory, certain design patterns are applied to ensure a consistent structure in support of service orientation. For example, Logic Centralization positions reusable services as the sole or primary contact points for the logic they represent. This is further supported by the Service Normalization pattern that fosters service autonomy by reducing the amount of functional overlap between individual service boundaries to establish more of a "normalized" inventory.

The Service Layers pattern (and related, specialized layer patterns) can be used to further organize a service inventory into a set of logical layers, each of which is based on a different classification of service.

Note: Just a reminder that all of these structural patterns are only applied within the boundary of an inventory architecture. This means that, if you are working within the confines of a domain inventory, these patterns will not be applied on an enterprise-wide basis.

To support and extend the structure of a service inventory architecture, various other design patterns can be applied. Some (like Canonical Schema and Canonical Transport Protocol) help standardize the services within the inventory boundary to foster native interoperability and composability, while others (like Process Centralization and Rules Centralization) can be selectively used to leverage established product platforms that support the centralized management of business process logic and business rules, respectively.

Yet another dimension to inventory architecture design is the centralization of service contract-related logic. The creation of redundant schema and policy content can be addressed by the Schema Centralization and Policy Centralization patterns, each of which establishes a separate data representation layer (one layer for data models, the other for global and domain-level policies) that supports the primary service contract layer.

There are many more specialized patterns that are applied to an inventory architecture to solve common problems related to resource management, state management, quality of service, security, and communication.

Patterns for Service Design
Each service exists as a standalone software program, autonomous yet still fully geared to participate in larger service aggregations. When designing a service architecture, numerous challenges can arise, especially when shaping this architecture according to service-orientation design principles, such as Service Statelessness and Service Loose Coupling. Figure 2 provides an abstract glimpse of service architecture design patterns that are applied at the service architecture level.

More Stories By Thomas Erl

Thomas Erl is a best-selling IT author and founder of Arcitura Education Inc., a global provider of vendor-neutral educational services and certification that encompasses the Cloud Certified Professional (CCP) and SOA Certified Professional (SOACP) programs from CloudSchool.com™ and SOASchool.com® respectively. Thomas has been the world's top-selling service technology author for nearly a decade and is the series editor of the Prentice Hall Service Technology Series from Thomas Erl, as well as the editor of the Service Technology Magazine. With over 175,000 copies in print world-wide, his eight published books have become international bestsellers and have been formally endorsed by senior members of many major IT organizations and academic institutions. To learn more, visit: www.thomaserl.com

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@MicroservicesExpo Stories
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore t...
The IT industry is undergoing a significant evolution to keep up with cloud application demand. We see this happening as a mindset shift, from traditional IT teams to more well-rounded, cloud-focused job roles. The IT industry has become so cloud-minded that Gartner predicts that by 2020, this cloud shift will impact more than $1 trillion of global IT spending. This shift, however, has left some IT professionals feeling a little anxious about what lies ahead. The good news is that cloud computin...
As Enterprise business moves from Monoliths to Microservices, adoption and successful implementations of Microservices become more evident. The goal of Microservices is to improve software delivery speed and increase system safety as scale increases. Documenting hurdles and problems for the use of Microservices will help consultants, architects and specialists to avoid repeating the same mistakes and learn how and when to use (or not use) Microservices at the enterprise level. The circumstance w...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Auditwerx will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Auditwerx specializes in SOC 1, SOC 2, and SOC 3 attestation services throughout the U.S. and Canada. As a division of Carr, Riggs & Ingram (CRI), one of the top 20 largest CPA firms nationally, you can expect the resources, skills, and experience of a much larger firm combined with the accessibility and attent...
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly prov...
Everyone wants to use containers, but monitoring containers is hard. New ephemeral architecture introduces new challenges in how monitoring tools need to monitor and visualize containers, so your team can make sense of everything. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, David Gildeh, co-founder and CEO of Outlyer, will go through the challenges and show there is light at the end of the tunnel if you use the right tools and understand what you need to be monitoring to successfully use containers in your...
What if you could build a web application that could support true web-scale traffic without having to ever provision or manage a single server? Sounds magical, and it is! In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Munns, Senior Developer Advocate for Serverless Applications at Amazon Web Services, will show how to build a serverless website that scales automatically using services like AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, and Amazon S3. We will review several frameworks that can help you build serverle...
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud enviro...
@DevOpsSummit has been named the ‘Top DevOps Influencer' by iTrend. iTrend processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @DevOpsSummit ranked as the number one ‘DevOps Influencer' followed by @CloudExpo at third, and @MicroservicesE at 24th.
By now, every company in the world is on the lookout for the digital disruption that will threaten their existence. In study after study, executives believe that technology has either already disrupted their industry, is in the process of disrupting it or will disrupt it in the near future. As a result, every organization is taking steps to prepare for or mitigate unforeseen disruptions. Yet in almost every industry, the disruption trend continues unabated.
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
While DevOps most critically and famously fosters collaboration, communication, and integration through cultural change, culture is more of an output than an input. In order to actively drive cultural evolution, organizations must make substantial organizational and process changes, and adopt new technologies, to encourage a DevOps culture. Moderated by Andi Mann, panelists discussed how to balance these three pillars of DevOps, where to focus attention (and resources), where organizations might...
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" ...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, CTO of Embotics, will discuss how automation can provide the dynamic management required to cost-effectively deliver microservices and container solutions at scale. He will discuss how flexible automation is the key to effectively bridging and seamlessly coordinating both IT and developer needs for component orchestration across disparate clouds – an increasingly important requirement at today’s multi-cloud enterprise.
The essence of cloud computing is that all consumable IT resources are delivered as services. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Yung Chou, Technology Evangelist at Microsoft, demonstrated the concepts and implementations of two important cloud computing deliveries: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). He discussed from business and technical viewpoints what exactly they are, why we care, how they are different and in what ways, and the strategies for IT to transi...
Thanks to Docker and the DevOps revolution, microservices have emerged as the new way to build and deploy applications — and there are plenty of great reasons to embrace the microservices trend. If you are going to adopt microservices, you also have to understand that microservice architectures have many moving parts. When it comes to incident management, this presents an important difference between microservices and monolithic architectures. More moving parts mean more complexity to monitor an...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound e...
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.