If you're at all involved with a SOA implementation - or even thinking about it - you should check out Network World's package on "SOA and the Adaptive Data Center," published Monday. The feature covers a critical but often overlooked piece of the SOA puzzle: how SOA impacts the network.
Honestly, the title is a bit deceptive. While it does cover SOA and its impact in the data center in the first article, "SOA, Meet SOI," the hefty package - eight articles, plus a podcast - goes well beyond that topic to cover most aspects of SOA - including management challenges, case studies, vendor offerings and the ROI of SOA.
But, as I mentioned, Network World has really done a service by focusing on SOA and its impact on the network. It's too much to summarize in a blog post, but here are topics I thought were unusual for SOA coverage: Latency. Nobody talks about it, but somebody's got to make sure services don't drag down the network. This should play a role in deciding whether or not you should even deploy a function as a service. For instance, why take a performance hit when the code will be used within apps on the same machine? But it's probably worth the latency hit if you'll be able to use a service in multiple applications throughout the organization. Another option for protecting latency? An XML appliance, which offloads processing of XML documents from the server to a network device. Service Component Architecture (SCA) and Microsoft's Windows Communication Foundation (WCF). You'll find a concise explanation of both on page four of "SOA Made Fast and Easy." Why the network team should join the development team in SOA implementations from the get-go.
I recommend the whole package - though I confess I haven't listened to the podcast yet - but if you only have time to peruse one article, read, "SOA Made Fast and Easy." It isn't the main article, but functions nicely as a sort of Cliff Notes for the other pieces. If you're particularly curious about how SOA can help with integration, then you should also read the first two case studies in, "Inside three enterprise SOAs."