A cloud-oriented architecture (COA) is a conceptual model encompassing all elements in a cloud environment. In information technology, architecture refers to the overall structure of an information system and the interrelationships of entities that make up that system.
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According to Jason Bloomberg, of ZapThink, the development of a global cloud-oriented architecture is an essential building block of the Internet of Things, in which anything that can be identified – including people, coffee machines, park benches and just about any other random item you can think of – can be tagged and connected through the Internet or a similar wide-area network (WAN).
A cloud-oriented architecture is related to both service-oriented architectures (SOA) and event-driven architectures (EDA) and is a combination of two other architectural models: the resource-oriented architecture (ROA) and the hypermedia-oriented architecture (HOA). A ROA is based on the idea that any entity that can be assigned a uniform resource identifier (URI) is a resource. As such, resources include not only infrastructure elements such as servers, computers and other devices, but also Web pages, scripts and JSP/ASP pages, and other entities such as -- for one example among a great many possibilities -- traffic lights. Hypermedia extends the notion of the hypertext link to include links among any set of multimedia objects, including sound, video, and virtual reality.