An industry standard is a great idea -- every vendor should have one of its own.
The industry has made some progress in getting vendors to line up behind standards, but vendors being vendors, they still always insist on releasing their own flavor of standards in products.
IBM, which proclaims with such persistence that it is the champion of standards, appears to be straying in its own direction with at least one SOA product set.
"Market clout has its advantages," notes Burton Group's Anne Thomas Manes. In a report issued by Burton and summarized in TechTarget, Anne states that IBM's WebSphere Service Registry and Repository (WSRR) 6.0.1 doesn't fully support the Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI) standard, the commonly accepted standard behind SOA registries.
"IBM has been able to establish a leading position in the SOA registry and governance market with a non-standard offering because of the dominance of the WebSphere superplatform. WSRR v6.0 was released in September 2006, and IBM was able to close more than 40 customer deals in the remaining 65 days of 2006. Market clout has its advantages. In a very short period of time, WSRR has achieved second place in the rapidly growing SOA governance market, following Hewlett-Packard and its Systinet family of products."
"UDDI is clearly not a strategic priority for IBM," Anne said. "The fact of the matter is that IBM wants enterprises to adopt WSRR and abandon UDDI." WSRR-based registry/repository will work well in WebSphere shops, but heterogeneous SOA deployments still need industry-standard UDDI registries, she added.
Ironically, "IBM along with Microsoft, which also has its own homegrown approach to SOA, were founders of UDDI.org," Anne added.
Anne has been following the UDDI market very closely, and pointed out in a recent interview the time may finally be ripe for the UDDI spec to emerge from the shadows of obscurity. Manes observes that since many SOA projects are moving out of the development stage into production, there's more of a need for UDDI. "You don't need UDDI to get started with Web services," she said. "You don't need UDDI to enable integration among applications. But if you want to do SOA, you have to start managing the environment and UDDI becomes the system that enables communication among multiple environments."
"UDDI is the foundation for governance," Manes also said. "As people start deploying more and more services and their systems get further and further out of control, they realize that they need to do something. And they start by bringing in a registry."
The question is now, will it be UDDI, IBM's registry, or a federation of both?