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This paper gives an overview of Service Oriented Architecture or SOA in sufficient detail to achieve a consensus view among agencies regarding the general meaning of the concept. Such a consensus will form the basis for further discussion and eventual agreement regarding more detailed matters relating to the adoption of SOA by the government of Queensland. This paper simply seeks to establish a common understanding of the terminology. This particular GEA white paper is aimed at stakeholders external to the Queensland Government - in particular the ICT industry and other governments in Australia. It seeks to provide stakeholders with a broad appreciation of what the Queensland Government's is seeking to achieve for the relevant architectural domain, in the near-to-medium term. The position paper takes the view that adoption of an SOA accommodates well the federated nature of the Queensland Government inasmuch as it supports "A Loosely-coupled Asynchronous Messaging Infrastructure That Is Consistent With The Dynamics Of A Loosely Federated Group Of Autonomous Agencies". The associated architecture alignment target requires that agencies should have approved a policy of using SOA, and adopts and uses an SOA methodology - for all new systems that may expose functionality beyond the agency boundary. It is the clear and explicit correspondence between the service elements in each layer that underpins flexibility and agility for the business.
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