In defense of SOA standards bodies

Duane Nickull, who is very active in the SOA and Web services standards space, was incensed by an anonymous blog posting that savages the efforts of standards bodies, and has published a rebuttal defending the work of these groups.Since the offending post was anonymous and has the look and smell of an aggregator site, I won't dignify it with a link.

Duane Nickull, who is very active in the SOA and Web services standards space, was incensed by an anonymous blog posting that savages the efforts of standards bodies, and has published a rebuttal defending the work of these groups.

Since the offending post was anonymous and has the look and smell of an aggregator site, I won't dignify it with a link. (I can't find an original posting anywhere -- if any readers can identify the original source, please let us know!)

UPDATE: The original criticism of SOA standards activities, The SOA Soup, was not anonymous and originally posted at the ebpml.org site by Jean-Jacques Dubray. Thanks, Rob Eamon, for pointing us to the correct source. And, certainly, some of the issues raised deserve a healthy debate. (Without the name calling, of course.)

Duane's defense of SOA standards bodies work deserves attention. There has been no shortage of criticism of standards work over the years, and many in the industry have even said that the volume of standards -- as we have seen with Web services -- can be overwhelming and confusing.

Duane provides some clarity with a synopsis of the results of the work on key standards within the SOA sphere thus far:

Open Group's SOA Reference Architecture: An effort being formulated by Open Group's SOA Working Group to map out definitions, analyses, recommendations, reference models, and standards.

OASIS SOA Reference Model: An abstract model for services; a set of guiding principles on what SOA is. Under this model is a Reference Architecture (PDF link) OASIS is developing that serves as a generic blueprint for a class of items that may be further specialized to meet a specific set of requirements. Patterns are also guided by the Reference Model.

OMG's SoaML: Designed to support the activities of service modeling and design and to fit into an overall model-driven development approach. Duane says SoaML provides a valuable piece of work to the overall SOA set of standards. "One of the most common questions people ask is 'How do I identify a candidate for a service?' A model-driven approach (even like OMG's MDA) will help in this respect."

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