SOA patterns: proposal for avoiding data format transformation

At issue: How can services be designed to avoid data format transformation?
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer on

Here is another candidate SOA pattern submitted and being considered by the SOA patterns community process. If approved, it will be added to the established SOA patterns outlined at SOApatterns.org and in the book SOA Design Patterns (coordinated by Thomas Erl).

Candidate SOA pattern: Canonical Data Format

At issue: How can services be designed to avoid data format transformation?  Services that use different formats to represent data cause interoperability concerns, raise difficult runtime exceptions, and require the need for undesirable data format transformation measures.

Solution: The format used to deliver data between services is standardized across all services within an inventory, thereby guaranteeing a base level of interoperability.

Application: Depending on the communication protocols being used, this pattern may dictate certain file formats or, in the case of Web services, the use of the WS-I Basic Profile.

Impacts: Data format standardization can lead to communication limitations associated with the chosen format type. 

Principles: Standardized Service Contract

SOA proponents, enterprise architects, and IT professionals are invited to submit patterns they have identified for potential inclusion. SOA design patterns typically represent field-tested solutions, and organize intelligence into referenceable formats, and are intended to be repeatable by IT professionals.

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