Internet Services to the Rescue!

A service-based architecture (SBA) represents a vision of  an organization that presents a well-defined set of services to its community of users. The community can be its own employees, its clients, its suppliers or any of its supply-chain partners. One of my clients (a large pharmaceutical company) has asked me to define an SBA for all of the services it makes available to its community of users (physicians, HMOs, clinics, etc.). Those services include access to drug and treatment information, access to usage data and clinical research data. Other services include public relations news items. Those are basic services, which will be available in the first release of its SBA.

What is an SBA and how does it fit in with a distributed system? An SBA is a business service architecture whose components are information or functional services offered publicly on a company portal for consumption by the community served by the organization. All companies offer services, but not all companies have an SBA available on their web site or portal.

The notion of an SBA is a radically new concept which is enabled by web technology. Before the web, corporate services were only available from corporate information systems. None were offered to the public using an information utility. Businesses offered a variety of different public services, such as provided by …

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