SOA For Education: Not Very Close

From the 50,000-foot level, it appears that Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is a natural architectural fit for IT in Higher Education. The promise is that components from different sources could interoperate based on web services contracts, which would enable best-of-breed integrations and defeat vendor lock-in. At the level of implementation, it’s not so simple. The “IMS Global Learning Consortium”, a standards-developing body made up of institutions and vendors, has just announced a call for a study group to develop “Adoption of Service-oriented Architecture for Interoperable Learning Systems: Best Practice Recommendations”. IBM and Oracle are funding the work. The fact that this study is beginning with this sponsorship says to me that nobody has turnkey solutions; we’re still at the bleeding-edge stage with SOA.

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