I mentioned in a recent post an article on "service-oriented science." Here is the abstract. I am certainly not the first to think or express these ideas, but I hope I can spur some discussion on their significance.
New information architectures enable new approaches to publishing and accessing valuable data and programs. So-called service-oriented architectures define standard interfaces and protocols that allow developers to encapsulate information tools as services that clients can access without knowledge of, or control over, their internal workings. Thus, tools formerly accessible only to the specialist can be made available to all; previously manual data-processing and analysis tasks can be automated by having services access services. Such service-oriented approaches to science are already being applied successfully, in some cases at substantial scales, but much more effort is required before these approaches are applied routinely across many disciplines. Grid technologies can accelerate the development and adoption of service-oriented science by enabling a separation of concerns between discipline-specific content and domain-independent software and hardware infrastructure.