Service Oriented Architecture
Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is a type of software design that allows for interface and exchange between computing systems that may be entirely distinct, i.e. built with different languages and/or operating systems. SOA uses standardized protocols to achieve these interfaces, in effect creating software with the utility of a single, complex application.
http://www.pnmsoft.com/resources/bpm-tutorial/soa-tutorial/ http://www.service-architecture.com/ http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/architecture/library/ar-soastyle