What is Service Oriented Architecture? Patterns, Applications & Comparison

A service is well-defined, self-contained, and independent of the context or state of other services. Service oriented architecture (SOA) is a service requested by the consumer and the provider returning a response in terms of the service.

A Service Oriented Architecture is a collection of services that allows services to communicate with each other across different platforms and languages. The structure is implemented using a ‘loose-coupling’ system which is referred to as the client of a service, and its ability to remain independent of the required service. These service interfaces can be implemented with little or no knowledge of how the integration is implemented in-depth. 

Check out our free courses to get an edge over the competition  

Common communication standards are used to rapidly incorporate into new applications without the need for performing deep integration every time, by making software components reusable via service interfaces. The code and data integrations are required to execute a complete and discrete business function, for this Service Oriented Architecture uses standard network protocols like SOAP/ HTTP or JSON/ HTTP. These protocols are used to send requests, to read, or to change data. 

SOAP: Simple Object Access Protocol

HTTP: Hypertext Transfer Protocol

JSON: JavaScript Object Notation

The software architecture is becoming complex with a huge amount of development, and Service Oriented Architecture helps to cope with such challenges in a better way while documenting, creating, and maintaining the software systems.

Learn Software Courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Executive PG Programs, Advanced Certificate Programs, or Masters Programs to fast-track your career.

Read: 20 Exciting Software Development Projects

What Are Service Oriented Architecture Patterns?

Alexander defines the pattern as a three-part rule that expresses a relation between a certain context, problem, and solution. Name, context, problem, solution, forces, consequences, examples/ known uses, pattern relationships are the elements of the pattern.

Explore Our Software Development Free Courses

Service Oriented Architecture based on pattern approach provides a broad, platform-independent view on systems containing all relevant details about the technical realization alternatives.

  • Different patterns for Service Oriented Architecture:

Design patterns (GoF) 

Software architecture patterns 

Analysis patterns 

Organizational patterns 

Pedagogical patterns (PPP)

  • Pattern-based reference architecture for SOAs:

Principles are used in a specific way. 

Specific quality attributes are in focus. 

SOAs are described in a technology-neutral fashion.

Check out upGrad’s Advanced Certification in DevOps

Why Is Service Oriented Architecture Important?

The Service Oriented Architecture aligns business users with Information Technology (IT). It increases business agility, improved business workflow, extensible architecture, enhanced reuse, and a longer life span of applications. 

Loosely Coupling System

Service Oriented Architecture is implemented with loose coupling to implement services without impacting other services or applications in the system. The advantage of a loosely coupled system is that it supports dynamic binding to other components of the structure while running the software. It can mediate the difference in the component’s structure, security model, protocols, semantics, and abstracting volatility.  

Transparency In Location

The service implementation location does not affect the consumer of the service.  

Check out upGrad’s Full Stack Development Bootcamp (JS/MERN) 


Service Oriented Architecture provides reuse facilities due to its compliance with multiple web services simultaneously. Thus, independent of the language used while implementing the system, it provides the possibility of a heterogeneous environment.

Explore our Popular Software Engineering Courses

Parallel Development

As Service Oriented Architecture is a layer-based structure and consists of an inventory of contract-based independent service, it supports a parallel development environment. 

Higher Availability with Better Scalability

A multi-layered Service Oriented Architecture can be clustered individually with balanced loading to scale up the overall system. It uses redundant routers, switches, dual communication links to clustered servers and databases by providing high availability of services.

Promotes interaction

Service Oriented Architecture is compatible with varying languages while communicating through a central interface that removes the restriction on a developer to be limited to a particular type of environment while running the system.


The code developed in Service Oriented Architecture can be used for different applications and reusing existing codes within a service reduces the development time significantly, ultimately reducing the development cost. Once standard communication protocol is set, then the platform can transmit data between clients and services by negotiating firewalls. 

The Application of Service Oriented Architecture in Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a usage-based network access model to a common pool of configurable computing resources that can be provided and used quickly. These resources include networks, servers, storage systems, applications, and services. 

Cloud computing uses different models for horizontal scalings, such as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). The distinction of deployment models is made based on availability and installation location. 

Security and quality aspects are the major challenges in cloud computing: performance, latency, and availability. Integration, adaptation, agility, and possible relocation play critical roles in the implementation of cloud-based services. Service Oriented Architecture can be used to address these issues by defining central cloud standards and protocols.   

Also Read: Career in Software Development

In-Demand Software Development Skills

What are the Differences between Service Oriented Architecture and SaaS?

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a cloud computing style in which resources are available on the cloud for users which reduces their software maintenance, update, and installation cost.

Service Oriented Architecture and SaaS are both advantages depending on the organization’s requirements and criteria. Both have some basic differences which are stated in the table below:


Sr. No. Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) Software as a Service (SaaS) 
01. An architectural model solution is presented as a service.  It is a type of cloud computing that is available online. 
02. It makes technology solutions more efficient, productive, and agile. It provides highly visualized and extensible resources.
03. It supports computing advantages and service oriented principles. The basic advantage of SaaS is no need for licensing for customers.
04. Various products, technologies, programming interfaces, and extensions are used while implementing SOA. It removes the necessity of installing and maintaining the software, and thus reduced complexity.
05. Services can be combined to enable creating other services parallelly.  A single multi tenant application of SaaS can be used by millions of users independently.
06. Service contract, loose coupling, autonomy, reusability, composability, discoverability, and statelessness are the principles of SOA. It uses the public or private cloud to help SaaS providers.

What are the Differences between Service Oriented Architecture and Microservices?

Both Service Oriented Architecture and Microservices are loosely coupled, reusable with specialized components to enhance agility, scalability, and redundancy in business; there are certain differences between them.

Read our Popular Articles related to Software Development

Sr. No. Service Oriented Architecture  Microservices
01. It focuses on service reusability. It focuses on decoupling services.
02. It has enterprise scope. It has an application scope.
03. These services share data storage. Each service may have separate data storage.
04. It supports multiple message protocols. It uses protocols like HTTP, and REST.
05. It has common standards and governance. It gives freedom of choice to teams with relaxed governance.
06. It provides synchronous data duplication by reducing complex data synchronization maintenance. It has local access and not central so the data duplication may add complexity. 
07. It uses Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) for common communication mechanisms. It uses an independent communication protocol for each service.
08. It simplifies development and troubleshooting. It operates faster than Service Oriented Architecture.


The evolution of web application technologies with Service Oriented Architecture will scale up businesses by providing independent platforms for engineers to work on. The reduced cost of development can be utilized in other developing areas of the business. 

If you’re interested to learn more about software development, full-stack development, check out upGrad & IIIT-B’s Executive PG Programme in Software Development- Specialisation in Full Stack Development which is designed for working professionals and offers 500+ hours of rigorous training, 9+ projects and assignments, IIIT-B Alumni status, practical hands-on capstone projects & job assistance with top firms.

Are there disadvantages of service-oriented architecture?

Every architecture has its set of disadvantages, extra overload is the first one for service-oriented architecture. In SOA, there are many inputs and every single input is validated before it hits the service. Therefore, if there are multiple services at once, then the system might feel overloaded with extra computation. The next disadvantage of using service-oriented architecture is its huge cost. Technology, development, and human resource sectors are expensive in a service-oriented architecture. The high bandwidth of the server is sometimes the culprit. Since tons of web services are sent and received via messages, the number of requests every day goes to an extended bandwidth. This results in the high-speed server being responsive enough to contribute to data bandwidth.

What is the difference between service-oriented architecture and microservices?

The primary difference between the two approaches drills down to the scope. The service-oriented architecture uses an enterprise scope whereas a microservice platform works with application scope. Ignoring the factor makes room for problems. Reuse of integration in SOA is important, however, in microservices reusability during runtime is crucial to reduce resilience. Microservices use code to associate well with data duplication. Communication is another differentiating factor between architecture and microservices. In a microservice architecture, services are not dependent on one another and have their own communication protocol. SOA on the other hand coordinates through enterprise service bus or ESB.

How does service-oriented architecture help in state and local government operations?

There are many real-world examples of service-oriented architecture, and its use in the state and local government is one of them. The money in the state and government operations is to advance new initiatives. However, other local governments use different tools to build innovations. The government is accountable to help other agencies to transform through enterprise architecture. This in return helps commercial businesses to establish their agenda and to achieve market strength. When enterprise architecture is used efficiently, there are a lot of benefits that it can attract.

Want to share this article?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Popular Software Engineering Courses

Get Free Consultation

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Free career counselling from upGrad experts!
Book a session with an industry professional today!
No Thanks
Let's do it
Get Free career counselling from upGrad experts!
Book a Session with an industry professional today!
Let's do it
No Thanks