Here's an example that illustrates the connection between SOA and cloud, and how this can be facilitated:
Mashups -- any way the customer wants them
Mike Kavis reports that he is involved in a cloud computing startup, and a challenge was to develop output medium for his company's services. As Mike put it, he would rather spend his time adding new business services that contribute to his company's bottom line than fussing with the ways customers and partners want to consume his company's data services -- whether they be RSS feeds, gadgets, SMS messages, Web pages, Facebook applications, or portals.
Mike found the solution in enterprise mashups, which provide partners and customers the flexibility to access his company's products and services "in ways that are convenient for them without having to wait on my IT shop to decide if (a) we think the request is important enough in our priority list, (b) if we have the time and resources to work on it, and (c) how much we will charge them."
He adds that with SOA governance and best practices applied on his end at the architectural level, "we can be assured that whatever mashups our customers and partners create, they will be subject to the same security and governance as the services we have developed." In the enterprise mashup layer, data services are exposed for customers to consume.
The result, Mike says: "I can now present various data services in a secured and governed fashion to my customers and partners without being concerned on how they want to consume it... this is the Icing on your SOA cake."
Enterprise mashups represent the latest approach to buiding composite applications that are the centerprise of many SOA efforts -- and make SOA real to business users. Mike encourages organizations to add an Enterprise Mashup Platform on top of their SOA stack. "This is the ultimate flexibility and agility that SOA promises."