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Introducing SOA Design Patterns
Originally inspired by techniques used to design buildings and cities, and popularized by the Gang of Four during the mainstream emergence of object-orientation, design patterns have seen us through the various shifts in architecture, technology, and, of course, design. Pattern catalogs have periodically emerged, one building on the other, and each revealing a set of problem-solving techniques and providing invaluable insights as to how and when those techniques should be used to help us attain our design goals.
SOA has its own history, having risen out of a haze of ambiguity to establish itself as the basis of a distinct and maturing distributed computing platform with a distinct and ambitious design paradigm in its own right.
And now, finally, these worlds converge. SOA and service orientation (and surrounding technology platforms) have matured to the extent that proven design practices have surfaced for use by the masses. Subsequent to years of research, reviews, and validation, this body of work has been formally documented as a comprehensive collection of over 90 SOA design patterns.
One of the most intriguing aspects of the SOA design pattern catalog is its breadth. We have patterns providing design techniques that range from adjusting minute validation logic in a service contract to design strategies that help us structure pools of services across an entire enterprise.
This scope is indicative of the enterprise-centric focus of service-oriented computing in general. When carrying out an SOA initiative, we need to pay attention to many design details with every service we deliver, while always keeping the big picture in our sights. Design patterns support us in maintaining this balance by helping us overcome common obstacles that have historically inhibited or even derailed SOA project plans.