Understanding Web Services and SOA

While SOA-based applications have made integration of different applications in
different platforms an easier task, it has also given rise to new and significant security
risks in web services.  Today, with different internet, XML and web security
mechanisms already in place, understanding web services in SOA is crucial if you
want to monitor, control, and manage your application functionality.

Web services is a system designed in such a way that it has standardized formats and
can be integrated to another program in another platform.  It has to be made clear that
understanding web services do not necessarily mean you have a complete
understanding of SOA.  Web services is just an implementation of a particular
technology in SOA and thus is not completely SOA in itself.  While SOA may have
just been recently introduced in the developer’s world, the concept of services in the
web is not.  Although it could be said that web services is and integral part of SOA,
you can still create SOA-like programs but it may not be as loosely coupled as SOA
through web services and can be difficult to update and upgrade.  Security issues may
also crop up if one system is not compatible with another system.

Having a clear understanding of web services in SOA improves overall network
security.  Technologies now exist for authentication checks so that the company and
the client are protected against unauthorized and unwanted access.

Understanding web services and SOA creates portable data and applications which
can be easily integrated, upgraded, updated, and modified in almost all platforms with
relatively no security risk.

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