Microservice is a variant of the service-oriented architecture (SOA) structural style – arranges an application as a collection of loosely coupled services. In a microservices architecture, services are fine-grained and the protocols are lightweight.

Enterprise application integration


Enterprise application integration (EAI) is an integration framework composed of a collection of technologies and services which form a middleware or “middleware framework” to enable integration of systems and applications across an enterprise[.

Communication architectures

Currently, there are many variations of thought on what constitutes the best infrastructure, component model, and standards structure for Enterprise Application Integration. There seems to be consensus that four components are essential for a modern enterprise application integration architecture:

  • A centralized broker that handles security, access, and communication. This can be accomplished through integration servers (like the School Interoperability Framework (SIF) Zone Integration Servers) or through similar software like the enterprise service bus (ESB) model that acts as a services manager.
  • An independent data model based on a standard data structure, also known as a canonical data model. It appears that XML and the use of XML style sheets has become the de facto and in some cases de jure standard for this uniform business language.
  • A connector, or agent model where each vendor, application, or interface can build a single component that can speak natively to that application and communicate with the centralized broker.
  • A system model that defines the APIs, data flow and rules of engagement to the system such that components can be built to interface with it in a standardized way.


Enterprise architecture framework

Enterprise architecture framework (EA framework) defines how to create and use an enterprise architecture. An architecture framework provides principles and practices for creating and using the architecture description of a system. It structures architects’ thinking by dividing the architecture description into domains, layers, or views, and offers models - typically matrices and diagrams - for documenting each view. This allows for making systemic design decisions on all the components of the system and making long-term decisions around new design requirements, sustainability, and support.


Event-driven architecture

Event-driven architecture (EDA) is a software architecture paradigm promoting the production, detection, consumption of, and reaction to events.

Library Oriented Architecture

Library Oriented Architecture (LOA) is a set of principles and methodologies for designing and developing software in the form of reusable software libraries constrained in a specific ontology domain. LOA provides one of the many alternate methodologies that enable the further exposure of software through a service-oriented architecture. Library orientation dictates the ontological boundaries of a library that exposes business functionality through a set of public APIs. Library Oriented Architecture further promotes practices similar to Modular Programming, and encourages the maintenance of internal libraries and modules with independent internal open-source life-cycles. This approach promotes good software engineering principles and patterns such as separation of concerns and designing to interfaces as opposed to implementations.

Service-oriented architecture

Service-oriented architecture (SOA) is a style of software design where services are provided to the other components by application components, through a communication protocol over a network. A SOA service is a discrete unit of functionality that can be accessed remotely and acted upon and updated independently, such as retrieving a credit card statement online. SOA is also intended to be independent of vendors, products and technologies.

Semantic service-oriented architecture

Semantic Service Oriented Architecture (SSOA) is an architecture that allows for scalable and controlled Enterprise Application Integration solutions. SSOA describes a sophisticated approach to enterprise-scale IT infrastructure. It leverages rich, machine-interpretable descriptions of data, services, and processes to enable software agents to autonomously interact to perform critical mission functions.

Web-oriented architecture

Web-oriented architecture (WOA) was coined in 2006 by Nick Gall of the Gartner’s group. It is a software architecture style that extends service-oriented architecture (SOA) to web-based applications. WOA was originally created by many web applications and sites, such as social websites and personal websites.


Message-oriented middleware

Message-oriented middleware (MOM) is software or hardware infrastructure supporting sending and receiving messages between distributed systems. MOM allows application modules to be distributed over heterogeneous platforms and reduces the complexity of developing applications that span multiple operating systems and network protocols.