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What are some popular Web service integration approaches?

What are some popular Web service integration approaches?
When

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applying Web services technology to solve application integration problems, there are patterns or architectures to consider as well. These are:

1. event-driven
2. composite; and
3. autonomous-distributed.

It's also correct to consider these solution patterns as an evolution of the Web services integration technology over time, as well as options.
Event-driven Web services solutions refer to those architectures that deal more with information movement than application service aggregation. Data moves from system to system in support of a particular business transaction, but there is also a requirement to access application services. For instance, moving order information from system to system and company to company to support the purchase of a car, or employing a common Web service to calculate logistics information, sharable by all source and target systems. This is a hybrid architecture that mixes both Web services and traditional application integration technology, such as integration servers.

Composite application solutions refer to architectures that require many application services to aggregate into a single instance of an application. Organizations have been dealing with this paradigm for years as component-oriented programming, where many predefined application components combine to create a single application. However, within the notion of Web services, the application components reside on a remote computer, and the Web services are accessed as pieces of an application. For instance, the master application that monitors shipments invokes a series of Web services (running on remote computers) that provide application services for logistics processes, least-cost routing, billing, etc. Going forward this will be the most popular architecture for Web services since it's closest to the concept.

Autonomous-distributed solutions refer to those architectures where the Web services are so tightly coupled that they appear as a single application. This is the final destination for Web services, binding many applications together, inter- and intracompany, into a single unified whole. However, the proliferation of this architecture is years away.
 

This was first published in December 2002

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