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Next-Gen Web Architecture for the Cloud Era

May 2013 Presentation
Darryl Nelson (Raytheon)

A presentation from the ninth annual SATURN conference, held in Minneapolis, MN, April 29 - May 3, 2013.


Software Engineering Institute



Recent advancements in JavaScript toolkits and engines have greatly expanded web application capabilities. At the same time, service-oriented architectures (SOA) and cloud platforms have achieved maturity. However, these achievements have not translated to corresponding advancements in the presentation tier. These three developments are the genesis of the next generation of web architecture style, called SOFEA.

A new, proven architectural style has emerged to facilitate the alignment of the presentation tier with SOA and cloud-computing models. As a style, it is implementation agnostic but frequently implemented with JavaScript. Often referred as SOFEA, the Service-Oriented Front-End Architecture relocates all presentation logic to the presentation tier. Model-View-Controller components are implemented in the browser instead of being shared with the server side. During the interaction with web services, only business data is transferred across the network. The architectural constraints of SOFEA inherently reduce latency in the system, improving the end-user experience. In addition, the concrete separation of concerns enhances scalability, permitting the service and cloud to concentrate on core responsibilities without the distraction of presentation logic management. SOFEA also enhances interoperability. Because web clients can access services directly, multiple and disparate RESTful (or WS-*) web services can be integrated via a SOFEA web application. Such clients can benefit from the SOA and cloud revolutions and are able to integrate available services in the presentation tier at lower cost.

This presentation gives an overview of SOFEA and associated architectural, system, and software concepts. It also covers best practices and lessons learned during recent deployments to military operational production environments.