Android SOA (Service Oriented Architecture)

oha_logoIn computing, service-oriented architecture (SOA) provides a set of principles of governing concepts used during phases of systems development and integration. Such an architecture will package functionality as interoperable services: software modules provided as a service can be integrated or used by several client interfaces/organizations, even if their respective client systems are substantially different.

Okay, now that the technical definition is out of the way, I would like to position Android’s client interface with Calendar, Contacts, and Gmail as mobile SOA.  With my first G1 I was introduced to a new experience of true over-the-air (OTA) sync’ing.  My iPhone and BlackBerry Curve, both respectable devices, had to be physically tethered to a PC in order to add/delete/move data around, not to mention OS updates.  No, Android syncs with its full browser brethren so that I have a seamless Google experience on my PC and Android enabled phone.  There is even a rumor that Google Chrome will one day sync with Android’s browser proving once again that the modern web browser is quickly becoming the operating system of the future.

While it would be impossible to speak for all of the applications found in Android Market or otherwise, I will specifically point out Gmail, Calendar, Contacts, and Google Voice.  All of these applications are separate and have separate UI’s but they share common data that lives on the phone and simultaneously in the Google cloud.  Android was built as a mobile deliverer of Google’s main services so instead of being layers of apps above the OS they are tightly integrated.

What with the rise of multiple Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking apps, hopefully Android will gain even more of a foothold in the mobile market space.  But if Android gets anything right, it definitely delivers on the Google experience whether it be seen via MOTOBLUR or HTC’s Sense UI because the core Google apps mentioned above will be what drives user adoption.