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Web-Oriented Architecture

(also WOA)

Web-Oriented Architecture definition

Web-Oriented Architecture is a sub-type of Service-Oriented Architecture. It is a design approach for interconnected systems, using popular web tools and rules, especially HTTP and REST.

See also: HTTP

Here's what WOA emphasizes:

Resource-centric. At the heart of WOA is the idea of 'resources.' Everything, whether it's a data object like a user profile, a service like weather reporting, or a video, is a resource. Each resource has a unique URI, for easy identification and access.

REST as a foundation. Representational State Transfer is often the backbone of WOA. It is an architectural style that defines a set of constraints for creating web services. Unlike complex protocols like SOAP, REST uses the properties of the HTTP protocol, to make it lightweight and intuitive for developers.

Statelessness. Statelessness is crucial for scalability. Without the server needing to remember past interactions or maintain session information, it's easier to handle a large number of requests simultaneously.

Communicating through standards: WOA leans on standard web protocols, primarily HTTP. This ensures broad compatibility and reduces the learning curve for developers. When you use HTTP methods, you're essentially using a shared language that most web developers understand.

Interchangeable data formats. With WOA, data can be exchanged in various formats like JSON. It’s lighter and more suited for web and mobile applications.

Self-descriptive messages. Messages like requests and responses are self-descriptive. This means they contain all the necessary information, making the system more intuitive and reducing dependencies.

State representation: In RESTful WOA, when you access a resource, you often get a representation of its state. It can be in the form of an XML or JSON document. This allows for easy interactions and modifications by clients.

Decentralized nature. WOA's architecture tends to be decentralized. That means that services can be anywhere on the web and still interact seamlessly, thanks to the universal standards.