OASIS, the enterprise architecture standards body, has just released the third draft of its "SOA Reference Architecture Foundation" for a 60-day public review. The key purpose of the long-awaited document -- close to six years in the works -- is to better define the business role in technology integration, OASIS says. The SOA-RAF is targeted at enterprise, business and IT architects, as well as CIOs and other senior executives involved in strategic business and IT planning.
To better understand what SOA-RAF means on a practical day-to-day basis, Michael Poulin outlined some of its key points. as Michael puts it, the SOA-RAF draft "has been recognized by [Object Management Group] and The Open Group standards bodies as the foundation of modern understanding of service oriented architecture."
Perhaps the most important aspect of the document, Michael explains, is the way it defines what belongs with the business, and what stays with IT regarding SOA:
"Overall, the SOA RAF in this version tries to keep a balance between Business and Technical aspects of service-oriented architecture. Business domain appears now in the core concept of service and in the new concept of SOA ecosystem. The latter includes all interactions with services, intangible aspects of motivation and reasoning of the service invocation and the social structure where the services operate. SOA ecosystem "occupies the area between business and IT. It is neither wholly IT nor wholly business, but is of both worlds. Neither business nor IT completely own, govern and manage this SOA ecosystem. Both sets 5 of concerns must be accommodated for the SOA ecosystem to fulfill its purposes."
InnoQ's Boris Lublinsky posted an interview with Dr Ken Laskey - the OASIS SOA Reference Model TC chair and one of the editors of the SOA-RAF standard. The hyping of SOA is over, he says -- "it is time to roll up our sleeves and make it happen."
The SOA-RAF defines SOA as "a paradigm for organizing and utilizing distributed capabilities that may be under the control of different ownership domains." SOA is all about bridging services across organizational silos, and between organizations. "The SOA paradigm talks to more effective ways to bring together the pieces of a solution, especially when those pieces are under the control of different organizations, says Laskey. "That is where the idea of ownership boundaries is important. The SOA-RAF elaborates on many of these ideas through the ecosystem, realization, and ownership views to provide a firm foundation upon which organizations can move forward with their SOA initiatives."
(Photo by author. Gathering at Sleeping Bear Dunes, MI)