SOA explained with London’s Transport

Recently, I had the opportunity to give an internal training to our Non technical team about Middleware, of course the title, “Middleware for Humans” had to be used. And as you know an important part of Middleware is SOA. Our office is based in London. so being inspired by John Bronswick, I looked for an analogy in how to explain SOA in simple words, this is Oracle’s Description for it:

Oracle SOA Suite: a complete set of service infrastructure components for designing, deploying, and managing composite applications. Oracle SOA Suite enables services to be created, managed, and orchestrated into composite applications and business processes. Composites enable you to easily assemble multiple technology components into one SOA composite application.


Commuting case in London

There are multiple services working in London for commuters:

· Underground

· Train

· Bus


It’s common to have to use more than one of them during the day. And they are owned by different private companies.

So, what does all these has to do with SOA? Multiple services own by multiple provider with the need to be consumed by the same client. What would happen if a new provider joins? or if they decide to upgrade a service? Well, with SOA we can solve this with the Service Bus:

“A style of integration architecture that allows communication via a common communication bus that consists of a variety of point-to-point connections between providers and users of services.”

“An infrastructure that a company uses for integrating services in the application landscape.”

“An architecture pattern that enables interoperability between heterogeneous environments, using service orientation.”

How London solves this issue:


“Oyster card to travel on the Tube, London Overground, DLR, bus, tram and most National Rail stations in London. You can put Travelcards, bus and tram season tickets and pay as you go credit on to the card.“

So, London commuters just have to register for one service only no matter what version or service they are using, if they are registered and they need to change for example their last name, they just need to do it once.



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