service-oriented architecture

The phrase service-oriented architecture (abbreviated SOA) refers to a service economy model for the World Wide Web and some underlying Internet services including potentially Internet Governance services. It is the most specific and best supported vision of the so-called web 2.0 - an enterprise web 2.0 as ZDnet calls it - but may include many ill-advised extensions. More specific terms are advised:
  • client service computing focuses on a real simple use of clients to consume services (or composite services)
  • service network computing focuses on the plumbing that makes hokey Web 2.0 applications capable of performing 'business critical' applications.

According to Tim O'Reilly, it simply means beyond page metaphors to an "architecture of participation." Effectively, the entire network is a single platform.

until 3.1

Perhaps the only neutral way to define any "2.0" is as "the thing between 1.0 and 3.0". Thus Jeff Schneider's web 3.0 maturity model may be the only succinct statement until a widely accepted "version 3.1":


The SOA expert podcast may be amusing.

See web 3.1 by Efficient Civics Guild for another technical vision that's more specific.

too many terms

The phrases P2P, Web 2.0, SaaS, Web as platform, SOA, convergence, Enterprise Web 2.0, Global SOA, and even "business as a platform", social software and flash mob likely converge over time if the vision is accurate, but no one convergence process makes all decisions - unlike the IETF and W3 visions. The ECG studies the process by which these decisions occur including especially contests such as the Game Design Challenge, and "winning" applications like the Peace Bomb. ECG proposes that all human command verbs related to nonviolent tactics, especially those actually derived from municipal initiatives, will be the real convergent core ontology.

[+] too broad a path: enterprise versus public web views

[+] loose coupling, agile computing

standards efforts

However, it would be difficult to deviate much from the original architecture now being defined. Lawrence Lessig argues that this is the primary determiner of the services offered or not offered, and their ultimate subversion or reliability, and that after these definitions are accepted, there is little opportunity to fix them despite perhaps drastic effects on the polity. See ICANN, IANA, Internet Governance and the difficulty of efforts to establish an Internet Governance Forum.

OASIS called for public review of its reference model for SOA prior to 2006-04-14, after which it was to become an OASIS standard. This effort was expected to focus OASIS, W3 and ECG work on various aspects of the standards required, complement and incorporate some ISO standards while building on IETF standards.
The W3 standards effort is sometimes referred to as Web 2.0 and focuses on public World Wide Webtechnology. BACnet deals with infrastructural capital only.

The ECG and its Living Ontology Web take a broader living systems perspective to e-government and e-democracy problems, and focus on open politics itself. These more specialized efforts should require only some minor adaptations to the OASIS reference model. However, every political and journalistic problem arising from web 2.0 technology use contributes to case-based reasoning about the ultimate form of web 3.1.

what it does

OASIS provides the most useful definition from the point of view of vendors, larger organizations, and early corporate adopters who tend to drive such standards on their intranets.

According to OASIS, SOA "represents a collection of best practices, principles and patterns related to service-aware, enterprise-level, distributed computing. SOA standardization efforts at OASIS focus on workflows, translation coordination, orchestration, collaboration, loose coupling, business process modeling, and other concepts that support agile computing." This complements underlying SNMP MIBs and skilled trades defined by BACnet and ECG respectively to keep green systems reliably operating and well monitored, which cover systems integration and green procurement, for instance, to minimize use of electricity, creation of e-waste, maximize telework.


A list of OASIS Technical Committees provides the best overall institutional guide to standards. The standards themselves are at a much lower level of detail.