Feeds

OASIS Reference Model for SOA

SOA standards one step nearer?

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration

The Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) has been a great success – in that it's a new buying signal for lots of customers who were seemingly getting a bit fed up with paying money to IT vendors for more of the same.

So there are now 43 million different interpretations of what `SOA’ means, ranging from “radically new, loosely coupled, asynchronous technology infrastructures” (often so loose that they barely connect at all) to “Hey, we've been doing SOA all along but just didn't realise it” (the Monsieur Jourdain approach – which, at least, usually works on an industrial scale).

And, of course, every vendor is the “thought leader” for its particular version of SOA and is madly lobbying (dare one say financing) the analysts of this world, in order for them to come up with its own special magic quadrant.

So the recent announcement by OASIS that “its members have approved the Reference Model for Service Oriented Architecture (SOA-RM) version 1.0 as an OASIS Standard, a status that signifies the highest level of ratification” is broadly to be approved.

At least we now have some real idea of what we might be talking about and can make sense of all the SOA offerings in terms of their departures from the reference – this will help developers when their lords and masters in the business dictate: “...oh, and it must be SOA, of course...”

As Patrick Gannon, president and CEO of OASIS, puts it: “SOA-RM offers us a much-needed vocabulary for communicating an organization's services architecture. It delivers a standard reference that will remain relevant as a powerful model, useful across SOA deployments with evolving technologies”.

Usefully, SOA-RM isn't intended to support any specific Web services standards, technologies, or other concrete SOA implementations. Instead, it offers common semantics that can be used unambiguously across and between different implementations – and (as OASIS requires) there are already 3 successfully verified implementations of SOA-RM itself (from the Canadian Government, Capgemini, and Adobe Systems).

The new standard has a respectable list of supporters: “Adobe Systems, AmSoft, Axway Software, BEA Systems, Boeing, Booz Allen Hamilton, Capgemini, Fujitsu, General Motors, NEC, Reactivity, Software AG, and others” are quoted on the release.

Perhaps the absences from that list are also interesting: IBM, Microsoft and, not least, Sonic Software (which “invented” the Enterprise Service Bus and is, like the others, an OASIS member).

I asked Sonic - part of Progress Software -: Progress spokesman Trip Kucera told me: "The Oasis SOA reference model is promising and certainly an initiative we’ll monitor moving forward. There are also some interesting parallels with our own SOA maturity model, which is freely available for organizations to customize for their needs”. So, I’m left feeling that the OASIS reference model may stil have a little way to go before universal adoption is assured (also see "OASIS to define SOA" in Related stories, below).

Reg Developer's Martin Banks also sounded a note of caution when we discussed this announcement.

"Setting reference models in stone before too many people have really worked out what they think SOA really is could push (pull?) the definition of SOA down a back alley – particularly a technological one,” he says. “The trouble with vendors is they want to see ‘technology’ and with SOA, the technology is at least secondary, if not totally irrelevant. It’s all about what the business wants/needs to do – the processes involved”.

I take his point, although I also note that OASIS at least claims that its new model isn't tied to particular technologies. It's also being reported that Avaya was the only OASIS member to vote against the new reference model, on the grounds that it isn’t definitive enough and that things that aren't really SOA could claim to conform (Avaya’s view of SOA is here). We shall have to see how it all pans out.

OASIS hosts various mail lists for public comment and for exchanging information on implementing the standard. The Reference Model can be downloaded from here, where you’ll also find pointers to its mailing lists. &Reg;

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think

More from The Register

next story
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Fiendishly complex password app extension ships for iOS 8
Just slip it in, won't hurt a bit, 1Password makers urge devs
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready
Lightweight, container-happy Linux gets first Stable release
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?