Web-Oriented Architecture (WOA)

WOA is an emergent phenomenon across Start-ups and the Enterprise.

Top level history of development:

  • Structured
  • Object Oriented
  • Service Oriented – turn applications into open platforms SOAP, WSDL etc
  • Web Oriented – address the failings in service oriented inability to deal with legal, technical, security and other business issues.  REST

SOAP is stable or shrinking, REST is growing – information week study

Web oriented is the next step that try’s to cope with the network which complicates any development.  I think Its not really any different to SOA, its more of a re-positioning over differing more simplistic technologies and ways of working.

It’s not about applications any more it’s about building a platform that can be open.  This allowing others to build using your platform through your API.  By doing this Amazon changed and the use of its AWS platform is now the largest part of there business; initially they were just re-using the code that was trusted to run there site and as such they created value. Twitter has 10  time the traffic through its API than from its user interface.  Even the world bank now has a developer network to allow use of there services.

Network effects are the key behind the successful applications/platforms.  They need to be explictly used to obtain success i.e the API not only delivers value, but also captures value from that use, in the most basic form measurement.  You also need to make sure that your service is easier to consume than your competitors; googlemaps can be integrated with a single line of code.

Harnessing the power of  HTTP together with URIs is a key element of WOA.  HTTP can transfer any type of data, has proven security HTTPS and coupled with a URI provides an easily referenced Endpoint for your service.  We tried this in SOA in a similar way, but instead of using existing technology we created some complex new ones in SOAP/WSDL and its associated WS* standards, this has proved complex, with many standard still not agreed upon. REST came about in direct competition to SOAP, it has been around a while, but since Amazon and Ebay have seen REST used more than WSDL it has gained greater following; the reason for this is simplicity (simple rather than multiple standards).

So in REST (REST is an architectural style) everything on the network is a resource that is self descriptive, note that resrouces are stateless.  It has some simple concepts get, put, post, delete and few others. This allows for a uniform interface model, which means you can give the URI to any type of object and it will be able to deal with it.

Advantages of WOA and REST:

  • Linkability
  • Simplicity
  • uniform interface
  • testable via browser
  • No WSDL
  • easliy consumed by dynamic languages RUDY, Javascript, Python etc
  • High performance

OAuth An open protocol to allow secure API authorization in a simple and standard method from desktop and web applications. is worth following.


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