Feeds

OASIS Reference Model for SOA

SOA standards one step nearer?

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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;

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
OpenBSD founder wants to bin buggy OpenSSL library, launches fork
One Heartbleed vuln was too many for Theo de Raadt
Got Windows 8.1 Update yet? Get ready for YET ANOTHER ONE – rumor
Leaker claims big release due this fall as Microsoft herds us into the CLOUD
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...
Why HELLO Amazon! You weren't here last time
Patch iOS, OS X now: PDFs, JPEGs, URLs, web pages can pwn your kit
Plus: iThings and desktops at risk of NEW SSL attack flaw
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Apple inaugurates free OS X beta program for world+dog
Prerelease software now open to anyone, not just developers – as long as you keep quiet
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.