It seems that we just can't wait for a new buzz-phrase. While most of the world is trying to come to terms with SOA and what it means, Oracle is trying to ignite interest in SOA 2.0.

The company was setting out its vision for the next-generation version of SOA at the JavaOne conference in San Francisco. "SOA 2.0 is the term that we're using to talk about the combination of service-oriented architecture and event-driven architecture," said Steve Harris, vice president of Oracle Fusion middleware.

Oracle is not alone. The phrase is also being championed by Gartner's Yefim Natis, a vice president and distinguished analyst at the firm. Natis stressed event-driven architecture as the main distinction between SOA 2.0 and the first, client-server driven iteration of SOA.

"SOA as we know it today, deals with a client-server relationship between software modules," with services being subroutines serving clients, Natis said. "However, not all business processes and software topologies fit this model."

With SOA 2.0, an event-driven architecture is deployed in which software modules are related to business components, and alerts and event notifications are featured. The initial SOA concept has not been event-driven but instead has featured direct calls from one piece of software to another in a client-server process, Natis said. SOA implementations have focused on web services and subordinates to clients, he said.

SOA 2.0 applications could include order processing systems, hospital admissions processes or bank transactions, Natis said.

Oracle is positioning its Fusion middleware components as a solution for SOA. Oracle sees the Java Platform, Enterprise Edition 5 (Java EE 5), SOA 2.0 and Web 2.0 coming together to produce a more productive application platform, said Thomas Kurian, Oracle senior vice president. Web 2.0 features more dynamic clients.

Additionally, the company plans to soon release some of its AJAX technologies for rich Internet application development to an open source organisation. The technology to be submitted includes a set of JavaServer Faces components and an AJAX rendering kit.

The company, however, still is not climbing aboard the Sun Microsystems-driven NetBeans community for open source tools, but is sticking with its strategy of accommodating the rival Eclipse platform and Oracle's own JDeveloper tool.

"We have a lot of customers where we see Eclipse come up in accounts," said Ted Farrell, Oracle chief architect and vice president of tools and middleware.

"If we saw a similar push for NetBeans for the industry, we'd probably address that as well," Farrell said.

At a jointly held public session with Sun in January, Oracle acknowledged NetBeans but did not actually decide to participate in it.