Many large initiatives/projects, shown above, span several services from public and private sectors. Such projects and initiatives need to integrate multiple services instead of focusing on one service in one sector. For example, a mobile health initiative may span patient admissions, administration and clinical services.

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) plays a central role in large initiatives and projects because SOA is the best practice at present for integrating multiple services. SPACE fully supports SOA for enterprise application integration (EAI) within the same sector (enterprise) or multiple sectors and agencies (B2B).

The main idea of service oriented architectures is that the automated applications should be thought of in terms of the services they provide and the individual components that actually deliver the services. The services can be combined into aggregate services and similar components can be combined into applications. Thus a bank, for example, provides a set of services (e.g., deposits, withdrawals, fund transfers) and these services are provided through components that can be combined into banking applications.
Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), shown below, is a key component of SOA and provides the main mechanism for integrating the enterprise applications. A SOA ESB provides a collection of technologies that allow diverse applications to communicate with each other through a “hub” that is supported by directory, security and administrative capabilities. Many ESBs are commercially available from suppliers such as IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and others.

Space provides several tutorials, courses and hands-on tools for SOA. Please review the Stage 3 and Stage 4 materials in the “Planner Learning Corner" for more details.