Wednesday, May 14, 2008

SOA and OO

While SOA and OO are based on some very similar concepts, the approaches they utilize to achieve them are quite different. The biggest difference lies in the distributed nature of services. OO technology assumes local, in-memory calls while SOA assumes a distributed network of services. This fact drives a number of differences between the two technologies.

One of differences is the cost of traversing the distributed network boundaries. It is nontrivial in terms of complexity and performance. Service-oriented designs acknowledge these costs by putting a premium on boundary crossings. Because each cross-boundary communication is potentially costly, service-orientation is based on a model of explicit message passing rather than implicit method invocation. Compared to distributed objects, the service-oriented model views cross-service method invocation as a private implementation technique, not as a primitive construct — the fact that a given interaction may be implemented as a method call is a private implementation detail that is not visible outside the service boundary.

Another difference is autonomy of the code. Object-oriented programs tend to be deployed and act as a unit. They are not autonomous but rather embedded into a managing container. Service-oriented development departs from object-orientation by assuming that atomic deployment of an application is the exception, not the rule. Services are deployed, managed, and run as autonomous units. They are, in fact, the containers, in which OO code lives.

The final difference is the architecture. Since OO almost always deals with in-memory calls, it places no premium on the number of method invocations and the amount of data passed. In fact, the best OO interface contains many methods that are created for a single purpose. Under SOA, network overhead needs to be considered. This fact puts a premium on the amount of calls made from the client to the service. Thus, the number of service calls should be limited while the amount of data passed should be maximized.

Keep in mind that OO and SOA are not competing but rather complementary approaches. Think about service as an outer shell of an OO application that enables it to become sharable across the network.


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Raymond Hertz said...

Thanks for this valuable information.

Naviya Nair said...

Great Article..
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