SOA is known by almost everyone now in the IT industry as the acronym for service-oriented
architecture. However, what does SOA Application actually mean?

The word application is such a generically-used term that it may refer to different
meanings actually. We might be referring to each component program in the SOA, with that
component functioning as a self-contained program that has its own service or functionality
to carry out. The individual components are different from the entire SOA system itself
which may be more accurately referred to as the portfolio (or software configuration.)

So, when we talk about SOA Applications then, it inevitably brings us around to a
discussion of the complexity of the SOA portfolio (or SOA configuration.) It is important
for the IT specialists to be able to reduce complexity of the system rather than numbers of
components. Why?

For one, each application is complex enough in itself to create and understand. If you
combine different applications in one SOA system, then logically that is like adding
complexity to an already complex situation. For non-IT end users, adding complexity to their
work by having them adapt to a complicated SOA system is a burden they could do without. For
IT specialists, management and maintenance of the SOA system becomes harder too if each SOA
application in itself is already hard to manage – more so when they are interconnected with
one another through the overall SOA system.

Thus, developers have their job cut out for them when producing individual SOA applications
and a complete portfolio. They need to make sure the system works for the end users and can
be understood enough by the IT team of the client so that they can make it work for the long
term.

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