Just make it SOA, Number One…

Jean-Luc Picard understands Service-Oriented Architecture (Original picture copyright unknown - please advise)

I have never really thought of myself as a Star Trekkie, but I was struck a few weeks ago by Jean-Luc Picard’s famous command to Number One in the Star Trek Next Generation series: “Just make it so, Number One…” – in other words don’t bother me with the details and the magic in the black box – my service requirement is clear, just get on with it…”

“Just make it so” is the essential key to understanding service-oriented architecture (SOA) and was a central issue in the work done on the Reference Model for SOA: a service provider needs to describe what their service offers (with possible policies, restrictions of use, etc.) but not how the service is executed and delivered. Equally, the service consumer is principally concerned with having a certain requirement fulfilled, and not with the mechanics of how it might be executed: please, just make it so…

Revised (17/04/2007): see also SOA and eGovernment discussion at the OASIS Symposium

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