Seeking to hasten the adoption of its service-oriented architecture (SOA) strategies, IBM (Armonk, N.Y.) recently announced a governance solution consisting of SOA best practices to help users with issues such as decision rights and the policies that control those decisions. Called SOA Governance, the solution lets users choose from about 40 IBM-based products, including the recently announced WebSphere Service Registry and Repository, which allows users to access and manage service metadata used in the selection of invocation, management and reuse of services within an SOA.
"We have been building out this SOA story for a while now, and the issue that comes up time and time again is, 'How do I manage it?' or, 'How do I manage the transformation of my organization around it?'" relates Danny Sabbah, general manager of IBM's Rational Software division. "This solution goes toward addressing that."
Given IT's increasing role as the gatekeeper of a company's critical data and the resulting need for IT-specific governance rules, the announcement is well-timed, according to Amy Wohl, president of Narberth, Pa.-based consulting firm Wohl Associates. "Over the past 18 months, people have become very interested in the notion of IT governance as a way to make sure their information is correct -- information they are legally responsible for," she says.
The move also is appropriate given the growing strategic significance of SOA from a development standpoint, particularly for the code that will be reused, Wohl adds. "If you have SOA as your main development construct for the next five to seven years, [governance] is particularly important," she says, adding that firms need "rules for where you are putting code and under what circumstances you can use the code."
Using its latest offerings as momentum, IBM hopes to broaden the industry's definition of SOA governance. The company's Sabbah contends that many firms confine SOA governance to a finite set of products and capabilities that center largely around registries. "A lot of people think if you have a registry, you are all set with SOA governance," he explains. "But it is also about monitoring infrastructure, managing projects and a set of capabilities around product and services life cycles." --Ed Scannell, VARBusiness
Courtesy of VARBusiness, a CMP Media property