A number of vendors, including IBM and BEA, have lined up behind the Service Component Architecture (SCA) initiative announced the other week. SCA is designed to simplify the development of creating business services and Service Data Objects (SDO) for accessing data residing in multiple locations and formats. In other words, some of the nitty-gritty work to eventually make SOA a reality.
In a related development, the Apache Software Foundation is expected to move forward on its proposed "Tuscany" project, a set of frameworks to simplify SCA-based work.
eWeek's Darryl Taft provides this write-up on what Tuscany is all about. Tuscany itself is being driven by IBM and BEA, and is intended to to provide multiple language implementations of the SCA specifications. eWeek reports that an initial Java-based Tuscany implementation has already been integrated with Apache Tomcat as a deployment platform, and will soon be integrated with other Java middleware environments such as Apache Geronimo and ObjectWeb Celtix. Another implementation has been written in C++, and other languages targeted for support include the BPEL (Business Process Execution Language).
Interestingly, in a recent response to a posting, Apache's Geir Magnusson Jr. made it clear that Tuscany was intended to support SCA specifically, but not SOA generally -- 'tuSCAny', not 'tuSOAny," he quipped.
"Granted, SCA is about SOA, so we can continue to irritate our rotator cuffs while we wildly wave our arms when talking about it. But for this project, there's a concrete basis for development -- there are a set of developing specs for SCA listed in the proposal, and the seed code is the start of a concrete implementation -- in two languages, no less...."
It remains to be seen what SCA can do for us, if anything. Both Dana Gardner on this site and RedMonk's James Governor are skeptical. "Its such a weird industry - we get excited about the introduction of a new abstraction layer," Governor writes.