These days Web Services or Software As a service are terms that are beginning to seem just a trifle dog eared? What we need therefore is a bright new acronym, and for anyone who spends as much time as me, looking at Tech news sites you can’t help but to have noticed that we’ve been given one in SOA.

SOA stands for service orientated architecture. This is an underlying software structure or architecture that’s designed to support services, integrating them and ensuring that they all work together. For a fuller description check out’s here SOA naturally is a term that’s used where it’s sexiest, when talking about integrating web services for example. It can be used however in a context that has absolutely nothing to do with the web.

As an acronym SOA describes a particular type of software architecture, rather than a specific protocol with defined parameters. In an industry that seems to throw out new terms and acronyms every week, it will be interesting to see whether this one is still around in a year’s time.

Also in the news this week, and having very little to do with SOA has been the announcement that ASDA is to pilot a scheme where they don’t take cheques. The scheme will be trialled at 21 stores within the M25, so non Londoners will still be able to use cheques regardless.

It seems interesting that ASDA’s talking about a scheme where they actually stop accepting something. Probably no need for new hardware or software there then, just a firm statement from the cashier ‘No cheques please,’ would seem to sort that one out. Ah they could also use a market pen to obscure the sign where it say’s ‘Cheques welcome.’

Being slightly old, extremely cynical and a cheque user (a three/four day interest free loan) I don’t find it surprising that the banks and retailers are at last ganging up on cheque usage. Today with payment cards, credit cards etc, cheques are the one area that remain outside the banks control, where you can still spend freely in the expectation of cash coming in.

These day’s only about 2% of customers in supermarkets pay by cheque (probably the ones with the payday at the end of the week.) It’s probably only a matter of time before other supermarkets follow ASDA’s lead and cut back on cheque usage, encouraging more people to pay for their groceries on expensive credit. This might speed up the time it takes to get through the tills, but could have adverse effects on people’s personal finances.

Anyway I’ll be back later in this week with another look at what’s hot and what’s not in the world of tech.