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  Why SOA ?  
What is Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)?

In computing, the term service-oriented architecture (SOA [pronounced "so-uh" or "es-o-a"]) expresses a perspective of software architecture that defines the use of loosely coupled software services to support the requirements of the business processes and software users.
In an SOA environment, resources on a network are made available as independent services that can be accessed without knowledge of their underlying platform implementation.

A service-oriented architecture is not tied to a specific technology. It may be implemented using a wide range of technologies, including REST, RPC, DCOM, CORBA or Web Services. SOA can be implemented without any of these protocols, and might, for example, use a file system mechanism to communicate data conforming to a defined interface specification between processes conforming to the SOA concept. The key is independent services with defined interfaces that can be called to perform their tasks in a standard way, without the service having pre-knowledge of the calling application, and without the application having or needing knowledge of how the service actually performs its tasks.


Why SOA?

With the rapid pace of change today, the need for transformation from today's inflexible business environment to an agile enterprise that can change direction rapidly has never been greater. Yet the structures, processes and systems that we have today are inflexible: they are incapable of rapid change. Methods and technologies for Rapid Delivery of e-Government and
e-Business Strategies are needed that support rapid business change - with systems that also change in lock-step. This is both a business problem and a computer problem. It needs strategic direction from management, with these directions then translated into rapid delivery action using SOA Technologies by your business experts working with your IT experts.

What is Enterprise Architecture?

Enterprise Architecture is fundamental for enabling an enterprise to assimilate internal changes in response to the external dynamics and uncertainties of the information age environment. It not only constitutes a baseline for managing change, but also provides the mechanism by which the reality of the operating enterprise and its systems can be aligned with management intentions.

Enterprise Architecture(EA) is a comprehensive framework used to manage and align an organization's business processes, Information Technology (IT) software and hardware, people, operations and projects with the organization's overall strategy. A strong Enterprise Architecture process helps to answer basic questions like: What are the organization's business processes, and how is IT supporting those processes?

The enterprise architect is responsible for ensuring that each and every one of a company's IT decisions are made with its impact on the entire organization kept firmly in mind. It is the architect who prevents an organization from investing in a technology that it will eventually have to replace. It is the architect's job to look for common business processes throughout an organization so that the services IT creates can be reused. This will certainly lead to streamlining and optimum utilization of resources.

There is growing demand for Enterprise Architecture and system development in cost effective markets. The roles of Enterprise Architect, Solution Architect are new career paths, which lead to top rewards and professional recognition.

What is Software Architecture?

Software architecture is a specialty, which is distinct from software engineering, programming, and project management. A Software Architect balances and resolves design forces from many perspectives, including system stakeholders and system developers. Software architects are responsible for a much wider and interesting range of issues (technical, intuitive, and human factors) than we typically associate with project management. Software architects create technical plans that coordinate the work of groups of programmers, resolving significant system-wide risks and project/technical inefficiencies. The Software Architect role is an important career path for lead programmers and other IT professionals, as an alternative to project management.

Source: "The Software Architect's Profession" by Marc T. Sewell and Laura M. Sewell

Why are more IT professionals getting attracted to this option?

For software professionals interested in the technical sphere, software & enterprise architect is a sound career option. Traditionally, as you climb higher in the corporate ladder, you loose touch with hardcore technical developments. EA allows a dual career ladder as you can become a senior level well-compensated professional, and enjoy working on the technical issues.

The position of IT architect has become increasingly important to the ever-changing IT industry, and is one that established corporations and start-ups are seeking. The job requires network professionals to acquire new skills. The job pays well, and opportunities are in fields ranging from finance to healthcare to retail.

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