How does Rational Software Architect fit into SOA?
Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is an architectural style for building distributed systems that deliver application functionality as services to be used by end-user applications or for building other services. It enables customers to create sophisticated applications and solutions swiftly and easily by assembling from new and existing services. Each business function in a company can be implemented as a service which can then be integrated with other services to fulfill the company's business requirements. Companies in every industry are seeking ways to respond more quickly and effectively to changing market conditions. To achieve this level of business flexibility, many companies are implementing SOA by developing service-oriented applications
Getting started with SOA is easy with the IBM SOA Foundation - an integrated, open-standards-based set of software, best practices and patterns for Service Oriented Architecture. The software that comprises IBM SOA Foundation supports each stage of the SOA life cycle which includes four stages: model, assemble, deploy and manage. Underpinning all of these life-cycle stages are governance and processes that provide guidance and oversight for the SOA project.
Figure 1. SOA Life Cycle
The IBM Rational Software Architect, as a robust and sophisticated design and development tool, is part of the IBM SOA Foundation and supports the model phase of the SOA life cycle. It is part of the development services of the SOA Reference Architecture, and gives companies the tools they need for modeling service-oriented applications.
Figure 2. SOA Reference Architecture
Rational Software Architect allows software architects to visually model and design flexible services architecture using the open standard Unified Modeling Language (UML), and automatically apply design patterns for SOA from analysis and design to implementation. Besides, there are a number of new SOA design resources available as Rational Software Architect plug-ins to further assist users with solution design in a service-oriented world. Please refer to the Resources for more information.