Web 2.0 – SOA Convergence

There is an obvious convergence between Web 2.0 and SOA, more concretly between Mash-Up applications and Composite Applications. On one hand, the content of a Mash-Up application is composed by the aggregation of different sources of data, consumed from services offered by other Web applications over the HTTP protocol. On the other hand, a Composite Application in a SOA does not have to be Web-based, as the content is built up from business services connected to different sources of data like Databases, EJB or MQ using disparate communication protocols like JDBC, JNDI or JMS respectively.

Therefore, a Mash-Up application can be defined as a SOA Web Composite Application where the source data is gathered from Web services from other Web applications. This integration scenario is not new, but the innovation introduced by Web 2.0 is in terms of how these services are provided with new technologies like RSS and how they are consumed in the browser side with JavaScript.

Under this framework, the roles of RSS and Mash-up editors in the world of enterprise Knowledge Management are quite interesting. Talking in SOA terminology, a Mash-Up editor (like Yahoo! Pipes) can be defined as a Knowledge Integrator where disparate pieces of information/knowledge are aggregated and transformated into one centralized output that can be consumed by any other Web application. Additionally, all the RSS feeds can be seen as the Knowledge Bus where all the information/knowledge is flowing in both directions (producer/consumer can interchange roles) and where application should plug in to gather information.

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