What's SaaS and SOA to a Layman?

I’m currently driving a large automation project and while prepping my team for the technical presentation, I decided to pepper the stuff with some nice buzzwords, something I can use to impress my colleagues. I opened my hat and tossed in some SaaS and SOA.

But a benign spirit warned me not to make a fool of myself and I patiently obeyed; so I looked things up. It seems my mum’s fervently praying for me upstairs. RIP mama!

In a layman’s term SaaS means Software as a Service which means software system not within your network or installed on your PC or phone or any other random computing device. But wait, what of my Gmail and Yahoo email?

Oh, that’s SaaS! You kidding me!

Welcome to planet IT. I used to tell people that IT is a fraud. We come up with a random name to give an old thing and voila, it is as sexy as a lipstick on an 80 year old grandma. Tomorrow we are going to call the sun Self-Sustaining Electromagnetic Wave Generator.

And SOA? It means Service Oriented Architecture. It is a means of getting a remote software system to do some bit of work without itself being a complete usable software. I mean isn’t that DCOM and RPC of yore? Well, something like that but not exactly like that. To be proper SOA it must be independent of any vendor, product or technology. These days most SOA are web service based.

With SOA, a system or platform or software is built out of other reusable components. For example, you could call a Web service that sends email or gives you the exchange rate of a currency at a specific time. It could be used in app A and another unrelated app B.

A SaaS can be built out of an SOA.

Since my integration isn’t going to be hosted outside of the office, I simply chased SaaS out of my presentation and respected myself.

By the way, my descriptions may not be accurate or goofy at best but then, isn’t that what I call fluff?