Agnostic services

A key aspect of delivering reusable services is that they introduce service layers that are not limited to a single processs or solution environment. It is important to highlight this one point, as it can blur the architectural boundary of a service-oriented solution.

An application-level SOA containing solution-agnostic services does, in fact, extend beyond the application. And, in the same manner, an application-level SOA that depends on the use of existing solution-agnostic services also does not have a well defined application boundary.

To expand on this point, let's take another look at those services more prone to providing reusable logic.

  • Entity-centric business services are designed to provide a set of features that provide data management related only to their corresponding entities. They are therefore business process-agnostic. The same entity-centric business services can (and should) be reused by different process or task-centric business services.
  • Application services ideally are built according to the utility service model. This makes them highly generic, reusable, and very much solution-agnostic. Different service-oriented solutions can (and should) reuse the same application services.

As shown in Figure 9.6, services can be process- and solution-agnostic while still being used as part of a service layer that connects different processes and solutions.

Figure 9.6. Services uniting previously isolated business processes and solution environments.

If the services you are delivering collectively represent the logic of an entire solution, then the architectural scope is essentially that of an application-level SOA. However, if you are building services that only extend an existing solution (or are being deployed with immediate reuse in mind), then the architectural scope can vary.

An enterprise that invests heavily in agnostic services easily can end up with an environment in which a great deal of reuse is leveraged. This is the point at which building service-oriented solutions can become more of a modeling exercise and less of an actual development project.


  • Solution-agnostic service layers relate to and tie together multiple business processes and automation solutions.
  • These service layers promote reuse but also blur the architectural boundaries of individual solutions.


Case Studies

Part I: SOA and Web Services Fundamentals

Introducing SOA

The Evolution of SOA

Web Services and Primitive SOA

Part II: SOA and WS-* Extensions

Web Services and Contemporary SOA (Part I: Activity Management and Composition)

Web Services and Contemporary SOA (Part II: Advanced Messaging, Metadata, and Security)

Part III: SOA and Service-Orientation

Principles of Service-Orientation

Service Layers

Part IV: Building SOA (Planning and Analysis)

SOA Delivery Strategies

Service-Oriented Analysis (Part I: Introduction)

Service-Oriented Analysis (Part II: Service Modeling)

Part V: Building SOA (Technology and Design)

Service-Oriented Design (Part I: Introduction)

Service-Oriented Design (Part II: SOA Composition Guidelines)

Service-Oriented Design (Part III: Service Design)

Service-Oriented Design (Part IV: Business Process Design)

Fundamental WS-* Extensions

SOA Platforms

Appendix A. Case Studies: Conclusion

Service-Oriented Architecture. Concepts, Technology, and Design
Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA): Concepts, Technology, and Design
ISBN: 0131858580
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 150
Authors: Thomas Erl © 2008-2020.
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