All this web services technology has not been lost on software architects trying to simplify how application components connect and integrate. Service-oriented architecture (SOA) is an architectural style whose goal is to achieve loose coupling among interacting software agents. In SOA, a service is a unit of work done by a service provider to some end result for a service consumer. Typically, software agents interact on behalf of their owners.
In an SOA environment, nodes on a network make resources available to other participants in the network as independent services that the participants access. SOA most often uses web services, either SOAP or REST, as its implementation.
SOAs support loosely coupled, highly interoperable services. Services interoperate on an agreement based on WSDL, which keeps the service independent of the underlying platform and language. SOA is independent of development technology such as Java or .NET, and components are reusable due to the standards-compliant interface.