My company inter access is working hard on a SOA framework. I mentioned this in one of previous posts. We have found a more or less good defintion for SOA, which is (freely translated):
A Service Oriented Architecture is a structural style to establish information needs of a organisation based on services
Took a while for us architects to come to this one, but it takes usually a lot of time to get a definition in sync with many different views of people on in this case SOA.We are now focusing on principles and characteristics. These characteristics are in a nutshell loosely coupled services, which have explicit boundaries, are autonomous and meta-data driven. Services are standard based, which are widely adopted like HTTP, XML, SOAP and communicate between themselves and consumers through contracts on basis of schema’s.
From characteristics we want to formulate principles of SOA and focus next on identifying functionalities/concepts like for instance Business Activity Monitoring (BAM), Enterprise Services Bus (ESB) and Business Process Management/Modeling (BPM). Last but not least it is down to technology, where each unit inside our company will map products/tools of their technology focus to SOA.
If you like to know more about my company and things we are doing have look at the site it is in english and dutch.