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Service Component Architecture (SCA)

Joint Specifications Overview

Contributors: BEA Systems, IBM Corp., IONA Technologies, Oracle Corporation, SAP AG, Siebel Systems Inc, Sybase, Inc.
30 Nov 2005

In response to requests from customers and Independent Software Vendor (ISV) partners, BEA, IBM, IONA, Oracle, SAP, Siebel Systems and Sybase are collaborating on specifications for building systems that use a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), which aim to provide developers with simpler and more powerful ways of constructing applications based on SOA. These specifications are published under royalty-free terms. 

Service Component Architecture: Building Systems using a Service Oriented Architecture

Service Component Architecture (SCA) is a set of specifications which describes a model for building applications and systems using a Service Oriented Architecture. SCA extends and complements prior approaches to implementing services, and SCA builds on open standards such as Web services.

SCA encourages an SOA organization of business application code based on components that implement business logic, which offer their capabilities via service-oriented interfaces and which consume functions offered by other components via service-oriented interfaces, called service references.  SCA divides up the steps in building a service-oriented application into two major parts:

  • the implementation of components which provide services and consume other services
  • the assembly of sets of components to build business applications, through the wiring of service references to services

SCA emphasizes the decoupling of service implementation and of service assembly from the details of  infrastructure capabilities and from the details of the access methods used to invoke services.  SCA components operate at a business level and use a minimum of middleware APIs.

Service Component Architecture

SCA supports service implementations written using any one of many programming languages, both including conventional object-oriented and procedural languages such as Java TM, PHP, C++, Cobol, also XML centric languages such as BPEL and XSLT and also declarative languages such as SQL and XQuery. SCA also supports a range of programming styles, including asynchronous and message-oriented styles, in addition to the synchronous call-and-return style.

SCA supports bindings to a wide range of access mechanisms used to invoke services.  These include Web services, Messaging systems and CORBA IIOP.  Bindings are handled declaratively and are independent of the implementation code.  Infrastructure capabilities, such as Security, Transactions and the use of Reliable Messaging are also handled declaratively and are separated from the implementation code.  SCA defines the usage of infrastructure capabilities through the use of Policies, which are designed to simplify the mechanism by which the capabilities are applied to business systems.

SCA also promotes the use of Service Data Objects to represent the business data that forms the parameters and return values of services, providing uniform access the business data to complement the uniform access to business services offered by SCA itself.

The SCA specification is divided into a number of documents, each dealing with a different aspect of SCA. The Assembly Model deals with the linking of components through wiring. The Assembly Model is independent of implementation language.  The Client and Implementation specification deals with the implementation of services and of service clients - each implementation language has its own Client and Implementation specification, which describes the SCA model for that language.

The current SCA specifications are published at a "version 0.9" level, indicating that the specifications are not in their final form.  The specifications are published with the intent of getting feedback from the community in order to ensure that the eventual version 1.0 level of the specifications more fully meets the needs of developers and businesses.

Download the Service Component Architecture Version 0.9 specification

You can download the complete Service Component Architecture Version 0.9 specifications, the XSD files, the Javadoc files, and the Interface Source files by clicking on the following links:

Description Date Access method
SCA 0.9 Assembly Model specification (PDF) November 2005 FTP download
SCA 0.9 Client and Implementation Model for Java specification (PDF) November 2005 FTP download
SCA 0.9 Client and Implementation Model for C++ specification (PDF) November 2005 FTP download
SCA 0.9 XSD Schema Files November 2005 FTP download
SCA 0.9 Javadoc Files November 2005 FTP download
SCA 0.9 Java API Source Files November 2005 FTP download
SCA 0.9 CPP API Source Files November 2005 FTP download

Also, read the whitepapers and sample application jointly prepared by the collaborators, for additional information on the Service Components Architecture specifications:

Description Date Access method
White Paper: SCA - Building Systems using a Service Oriented Architecture (PDF) November 2005 FTP download
Building your first application - Simplified BigBank (PDF) November 2005 FTP download

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