Friday, September 14, 2012

SOA, Separation of concerns and agnosticism (0/5)

Separation of concerns and agnosticism

Separation of concerns and agnosticism are two closely-related terms. Where separation of concerns is a term commonly used in object-oriented and component-based technologies, it is a way to clearly separate functional concerns by defining containers (services, classes, components) to identify a functional boundary of the contained operations.

Agnosticism (from the Greek word agnostos) is a term traditionally used in religion-related discussions but also in the world of service-orientation to explain that the service is not aware of, or is not concerned with, the parent functional context. Gnostos means “aware of the existence of”, the “a-“ is a negation making the whole term’s meaning “not aware of the existence”.

Both terms convey a similar concept where we keep concerns of a particular piece of code local to that piece of code only, and not have it scattered across the software infrastructure. The term agnostic however intends to apply to a wider scope than only code or logic, for instance on the contract or on the service as a whole, as well as the entire service inventory structure.

This five-part series touches on several aspects of how separation of concerns can be achieved in a service-oriented solution.

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