If you aren’t heavily involved in the continuing standardization of web services and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), it’s easy to miss how it is evolving. Just before Christmas, David Chappell provided a nutshell update on his blog:
Last month’s announcement of Service Component Architecture (SCA) suggests that, in the not too distant future, choosing between Microsoft’s Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and SCA will displace significant parts of today’s .NET vs. J2EE decision.
and linked to an article in his newsletter which explains at length – Foundations for Service-Oriented Applications: Comparing WCF and SCA:
When Microsoft went public with Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) in 2003, I wondered what the Java world’s response would be. We now know the answer: it’s Service Component Architecture (SCA), defined in a recently-published group of specs created by IBM, BEA, Oracle, SAP, IONA, and others.
Originally code-named “Indigo”, WCF was expressly designed to support the creation of service-oriented applications. SCA, according to its creators, focuses on “building applications and systems using a Service Oriented Architecture”, which at least in this case amounts to pretty much the same thing. In the .NET world, WCF is certain to become the dominant foundation for building service-oriented applications. If the vendors behind SCA can breathe life into this still-incomplete specification, SCA has the potential to play the same role in the Java world and beyond.
Much more by following the link including an explanation of the similarities and differences and what it means for the two platforms. For Microsoft, Indigo was always the least glamorous of the three original Longhorn “pillars” (Avalon, WinFS, Indigo) because it provides improved plumbing for distributed applications and thereby is hard to demonstrate to an end user. Of course, that didn’t change with the revamped menu for Windows Vista and the decision to backport Indigo and Avalon to Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, but the implications for enterprise applications are such that it should and will get more attention.