Donal Reddington on mass customization, crowdsourcing and digital manufacturing


SOA – Mass customization of software

Last September, I referred to an article in Information Week which focused on the development of Service Oriented Architecture software at ADP. SOA has sometimes been called ‘mass customized software’. A recent article by Mark Willoughby, writing in Computer World, goes some way to explaining this analogy. The article describes how:

“SOAs introduce a recursive loop of highly customized information services that combine to create unique functionality. Think of the times you’ve returned to a favorite online travel site or bookstore and it pulled details from your profile to deliver a tailored user experience.

Software tools automate the design and implementation of those tightly focused, highly customized applications, which are composed of thousands of reusable components.

The experience economy replaces the service economy with personalized services delivered for approximately the same price as garden-variety, mass-market services.”

The article goes on to say that:

“SOAs are the experience economy’s technical underpinnings for customer profiles that are used to manage infinite permutations of personal choice. SOAs even mimic customer profiles with SOA service profiles of software components, or artifacts. Just as a customer profile contains choices and preferences, a software profile provides details on the functionality in the artifact’s methods. The SOA profile also has the history of how the artifact has been combined with other components in providing services.”

He notes that experience-savvy companies use layers of personalized information in innovative ways to give customers goods and services tailored to fulfill their expectations.
It could almost be said that SOA is an enabler of software as an experience, rather than just software as a service.

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