architecture certification SOA

SOA Certified Architect: Module 8 – Advanced SOA Design & Architecture

I’m over half way now. Module 8 – Advanced SOA Design & Architecture is the fourth test module and the last in the SOA Certified Architect programme to introduce new concepts and content. The fifth and final module (Module 9) is purely a lab exercise exam – designed to pull together all the concepts from the previous four modules. There will be more on Module 9 in the final blog article on the series.

Module 8 provides an in-depth exploration of service-orientation, service-oriented architecture and SOA design patterns, including those that relate to the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) and Orchestration.

The following topics are covered in this course module:

  1. Defining a Service-Oriented Architectural Model and SOA Architecture Types
  2. Fundamental and Advanced SOA Design Patterns
  3. Designing SOA with Service Agents and Supporting Multiple Protocols
  4. Legacy Encapsulation and ESB Design
  5. Asynchronous and Event-Driven Messaging, Message Routing and Reliable Messaging
  6. Global and Domain-Level Policy Enforcement and Positioning of Business Rules
  7. Orchestration Architecture Design, State Deferral and Service Grids
  8. Service Data Replication, Cross-Service Transactions and Compensating Transactions
  9. Data Transformation and Protocol Bridging
  10. Introduction to REST-Inspired Patterns

The first few sections establish how SOA architectures relate to their earlier counterparts (such as distributed components, applications and integration). It also illustrate how SOA architectures tend to differ somewhat in scope by being fundamentally concerned with creating a coherent ‘bigger picture’.

The rest of the material is dedicated to documenting 31 core SOA design patterns that can be applied either as concepts, design standards or as technical service implementation options. I’m not going to go into detail about the SOA patterns here (you can read all about them for yourself in the accompanying book or online at, but it’s fair to say that they’re incredibly useful and particularly powerful, especially when combined.

As with module 3, the real value of module 8 is in understanding the purpose & benefits of each SOA pattern. By working through the course materials, you create an invaluable mental service-design framework that’s incredibly flexible and durable.

Since sitting the exam, I’ve found that its much easier to talk about service realisation options with stakeholders and developers because you can articulate service designs quickly and easily just by referring to the patterns or the combinations patterns that are required to solve a particular service design problem.

Yet again, this course comes highly recommended. However, it’s fair to say that by this point it’s probably not worth taking individual course modules in isolation, as they now start to rely much more on things learned in earlier modules.

Other blog entries in this series…

SOA Certified Architect Module 1 – Fundamentals
SOA Certified Architect Module 2 – Technologies & Concepts
SOA Certified Architect Module 3 – Design & Architecture
SOA Certified Architect Module 8 – Advanced Design & Architecture
SOA Certified Architect Module 9 – Advanced Design & Architecture Practical (Lab)