Oisín Hurley's Weblog

old dog, new tricks

Service Pattern Approach to SOA

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I just read Beth Gold-Bernstein’s blog entry entitled Categorizing Web Services in which she proposes the development of Service Patterns to provide a recipe-style approach to SOA development. I would certainly recommend to her that she visit the Enterprise Integration Patterns, get the book and read it cover to cover. There’s enough patterns in there to be going on with – the book is quite information-dense, but if you go to the website there is a breakout of each of the patterns.

Beth also states that these patterns should be embodied in tModels for storage in UDDI registry. I can only attribute the continued existence of UDDI to some kind of dancing bear syndrome – while I don’t agree with everything that Peter Lacey says in his criticism of web services, I think he is spot on with the UDDI comments. Rather than continuing to lipstick this pig, I think that it’s time the industry looked at a SOA-coherent and standardized repository API. Not something that is infinitely flexible or can be repurposed to anything (an ex-colleague of mine used the public UDDI servers to store his bookmarks), but something that has Services, Intermediaries, Policies and the like as first-class items and allows them to be tagged, typed and corralled into workflows. Then the patterns would make more sense.

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Written by oisinhurley

April 20, 2007 at 10:28 am

Posted in SOA

One Response

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  1. Oisín Hurley provided excellent points about Service Registry role and necessity of Service Registry Standards.
    There is another great article by IBM on service registry concepts and underlying standards: WS-Eventing Notifications, WS-Resource Transfer, and WS-Metadata Exchange.
    I think that the service registry is a great place to capture integrated views on a service from business and technology perspectives. I’d love to see there standard-based tools for direct mapping between semantic expressions by subject matter experts (SME) and technology artifacts. These tools and standards would allow SMEs early entrance into SOA space for collaborative work with architects and other technologists.
    Semantic approach is a quickly growing area. We can see offers from IBM, WebMethods, and BEA on meta-data repositories and semantic tools. I would not say that we can bridge today from natural language of business requirements by SMEs to service APIs but we came awfully close in our attempts to integrate best practices in software and knowledge engineering.
    Service Registry and Repository might be an ideal meeting place for business and technology, especially if supported by semantic tools for direct mapping and conversational facilities that could prevent “lost in translation” cases.
    Read more on semantic tools…
    Why it’s so important to prepare stage for SME participation?
    If subject matter experts are not heavily involved from the beginning, the chances are that the SOA business value will not be high.
    At the end of the day, the business audience will not be ready to upgrade their processes based on the new architecture.
    Early involvement in the SOA transition can also help the business audience re-discover the details of their business process.
    It’s very common that after mergers and corporate dynamic changes, the subject matter experts are gone, and corporate applications (that often compete to each other) are barely described by disparate documents.
    SOA forces re-organization: from chaos to order.
    But this is not an automatic process and it can hardly be driven by IT, although IT can provide the proper tools to connect to the business audience.
    Jeff Zhuk

    Jeff Zhuk

    April 22, 2007 at 12:59 am


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