Phil Wainewright, who you know from these pages as our resident Software as a Service guru, just posted this piece on LooselyCoupled.com on the significance of repositories to the success of SOA. Interestingly, as Phil points out, the original thinking behind the concept was that of a barebones registry to point to services as needed, via UDDI.
But, Phil points out, a living, breathing, robust repository is what is needed to fulfill the promise of SOA. In essence, an acknowledgement that while the original intent of Web services and SOA was to enable machine-to-machine interaction, the human element is still needed. "Instead of looking like a soulless library or asset register, the repository suddenly takes on more of the aspect of a coffee shop, filled with back-and-forth conversation — replete with social context, to use today's lingo."
A good example of such a repository is Salesforce.com's AppExchange platform, Phil says: "...its primary aim is to maximize reuse, and to that end it incorporates RSS feeds that update users on changes to applications or new additions to categories, it presents popularity metrics, it allows users to post reviews and comments, and of course it's searchable in a variety of ways. AppExchange is an excellent example of what an SOA repository should look like."