You explored the Service Factory pattern in this chapter. The service factory is a derivative of common object-oriented Class Factory patterns, likely originating with the Abstract Class Factory pattern. The Service Factory pattern will prove useful as standards permeate the Web Service industry; until then, producing the return on investment will be difficult. In the short term, the service factory will be valuable as a way to isolate service selection and instantiation logic. In the medium term , as your partners come on board with Web Services, you can use the Mediator pattern to help mitigate differences in services. Eventually, assuming the success of Web Services, the service factory will be able to stand on its own. In the meantime, your company must remain active with standards bodies ”as well as with your partners ”to produce interfaces that benefit you and your partners.
In this chapter, you applied the Service Factory pattern to a business process. In most cases, the pattern applies best to business processes, especially in terms of fulfilling the requirements of activities within a business process. There are cases that you could use the Service Factory pattern to relate to business objects or object collections. For example, you could leverage the Service Factory pattern when you have two active business systems with one being the system of record in a transition. When the time for a transition comes, you could configure the factory to locate the new system of record for persistence of your data.