IBM Builds Virtual Forbidden City Using SOA

Loraine Lawson

I found possibly the coolest SOA thing ever this week. I don't get to say that a lot ... or, really, ever, so you can believe this is truly neat.


Actually, I have an IT Business Edge reader who responded to a post on SOA this week to thank for this one-so thanks, Rowan.


IBM has built a virtual replica of China's Forbidden City, called "The Forbidden City: Beyond Space and Time," in collaboration with the palace museum. And it's built as using a service-oriented architecture, according to IBM's director of citizenship and technology, John Tolva.


IBM opted for SOA because it needed a "massively multi-user, cultural 3-D world" to accommodate thousands of visitors interacting with guides and each other, Tolva explains in a virtual introduction to the world. That required scalability-and IBM believed SOA could deliver it. Everything in this world is a Web service, which is very different from how games are typically built.


The reason for this is it allows IBM to bring other servers as needed, just as you might to scale a Web application, according to the introduction.


I can't help but think if gamers and game developers see an advantage to using SOA for gaming systems, it could be huge step for SOA's mainstream adoption.


Of course, IBM is using this to promote its own SOA tools. To that end, it's giving private tours, which will focus on how SOA is used in the world, to a "select group of IT specialist" April 28 and 29. You'll be able to talk with developers and IBM SOA experts.


In the meantime, if you'd like a glimpse of the city, view Tolva's virtual introduction, which is done as a character within the city. Just watching it gives you an idea of what to expect.


You'll need to register by April 17 for a chance to participate. To be honest, I hate to share this information, because I don't want to get cut out by one of you! But I decided to be more responsible and less selfish, since it's Passover and Easter this week.

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