Almost every software vendor is advertising their applications as based on service-oriented architecture (SOA), but if you take a closer look, not everything that is advertised as “SOA” is service-oriented. At Epicor, we took the road less travelled to bring you enterprise solutions that were built from the ground up using SOA best practises.
What is SOA?
SOA is an approach to developing enterprise software applications in such a way that software processes are broken down into services which are then made available and discoverable on a network. Each service provides functionality that can be adapted to the needs of the enterprise while hiding the underlying implementation details. SOA addresses the complexity, inflexibility, and weaknesses of existing approaches to business process design, workflow, and application integration.
SOA—the Epicor Approach
Epicor started with .NET, Microsoft’s platform for building and exposing applications with Web services. Web services all use one standard, Extensible Markup Language (XML), which makes it easier for business software to communicate. By exposing business logic as Web services, Epicor allows you to build your own business rules, better manage business processes, and access the system anywhere, anytime, and any way you want. Combine this with Epicor Service Connect, a business process orchestration tool that allows you to define workflows from business logic exposed as Web services, to achieve made-to-order process workflows that meet the needs of any business.
SOA can ease the integration of the diverse environments found in many organisations. SOA facilitates collaboration and information sharing throughout the organisation and with external partners. By exposing business processes, SOA helps businesses to focus on the best ways to improve operations. SOA provides the ability to support a business model that crosses organisation lines. SOA enhances collaboration, facilitates end-to-end business processes, and improves operational effectiveness.
SOA allows you to customise your business processes without modifying source code. With SOA, making the processes in your systems match your business is a matter of configuration, not customisation. That means that when it’s time to upgrade to the next release, you can do so much more easily than if you had customisations scattered throughout your implementation.
An additional benefit of SOA is that it provides the ability to streamline business processes, which in turn promotes agile business process management. SOA provides a way to make business processes more visible so they can be customised and optimised to better meet increasing customer demands for reduced response time while maintaining high quality and reliability. And perhaps most importantly, SOA keeps the complexities of application-to-application and business-to-business integration at arms length, significantly reducing costs and raising technology to a business level.
Epicor offers complete SOA enterprise solutions to help you connect people, processes, and applications for a flexible, visible, and agile business.