Top software suppliers have joined forces to make it easier for users to develop applications within service-oriented architecture (SOA) environments.
SOA is designed to overcome application and data integration problems by using standards-based web services to link components.
The new Service Component Architecture (SCA) standard aims to create another layer in the SOA environment that separates business logic from applications and middleware.
BEA Systems, IBM, SAP, Oracle, Siebel Systems and others all support the initiative.
A key component of the SCA standard is the Service Data Objects (SDO) specification, which has already been adopted in some IBM and BEA software packages after they jointly drafted it.
SDO makes it easier for programmers to access and manipulate data from heterogeneous sources, including relational databases, XML (Extensible Mark-up Language) data sources and enterprise applications.
Analyst Forrester estimates that almost 80% of large firms will be using SOA-based software by the end of this year.