Seeking to make the Service Component Architecture (SCA) and its sibling Service Data Objects (SDO) the basis for a new generation of standardized architecture in the SOA era, the large IT vendors behind the developments have agreed to hand over the specifications for management and maturity to the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS).
Announced today (see below release), the backers of the movement of these advanced computing approaches hope that their governance and distribution under the OASIS consortium will form a new breed of accepted approaches for rapidly adopting SOA methods and principles. SCA and SDO -- backed by such IT vendors heavyweights as SAP, IBM, Oracle, BEA, IONA, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, Sybase and Cisco -- could produce industry standards at the programming level for services-based delivery of application functions and data in enterprises and service providers.
By seeking to elevate the SCA/SDO duo to industry standard status under OASIS, these architectural approaches could join the accepted Web services standards (UDDI, WSDL, SOAP, WS-*) to form an agree-upon architectural foundation for both vendor products, as well as compliance-enforced reference implementations and use best practices. OASIS is already driving the development, convergence and adoption of e-business and Web service standards.
The new OASIS-backed approaches could provide a common, accepted, widespread common meta data foundation, and the means to broader use of BPEL to write processes that relate to services from across a broad spectrum of platforms. SCA/SDO are designed to provide a common way to alleviate the complexity of adopting SOA across heterogeneity of services types and origins. Such benefits are expected to hasten the adoption of SOA, from its initial popularity on a projects basis to more general means of advancing IT productivity.
As the adoption of distributed computing and n-tier architectures emerged in the mid-1990s, the "Java" set of functions (agreed-upon standards, middleware specifications and implementations) helped consolidate vendors and users alike around ways to best integrate and develop applications that consumed various resources from different computing tiers, or infrastructure components and resources. Many of these applications types became the mainstay of enterprise business applications and the foundation for complex Web-facing commerce applications. What became J2EE also forced Microsoft to advance its COM approaches into what became .NET.
The backers of SCA/SDO, which do not include Microsoft, did not choose to house these technologies inside the Java process or expand their adoption via the Java licensing models, even though they have been close to the major Java vendor community. The choice of OASIS for SCA/SDO forms another indication of Java's waning role in the advancement of modern tools, architectures and reference implementations. Oracle, for example, recently adopted Eclipse as the governing body for its Java EJB persistence runtime.
Even while the SCA/SDO backers invited Microsoft to join their efforts, and to adopt a programming-level of SOA standardization, rather than a Web services level of interoperability, the members voiced little hope that Microsoft would have a sufficient motivation to move .NET to a programable open standards level. SCA/SDO is nonetheless expected to make interoperability between .NET- and non-.NET-based services a natural and rudimentary aspect of SOAs.
This move shows an aggressive path for major vendors to making SOA the basis for modern computing, and for seeking a powerful standards and compliance force in the market to promote heterogeneity in the production, use, compositing, and extension of applications and data services. This may well form a turning point in the embrace and use of SOA as enterprises recognize the large investment the majority of large IT vendors are making, as well as the steps they are taking to foster open standards for extended levels of interoperability and common programmability of services.
Here's the press release:
Leading Technology Vendors Announce Completion of Specifications Designed to Simplify SOA Application Development
Open SOA Collaboration Chooses OASIS to Advance SCA and SDO Specifications
March 21, 2007 – Eighteen leading technology vendors focused on driving technology initiatives supporting the creation of industry standards around service oriented architectures (SOA), today announced that key Service Component Architecture (SCA) and Service Data Objects (SDO) specifications have completed incubation and will be formally submitted to OASIS for advancement through its open standards process. The SCA specifications are designed to help simplify the creation and composition of services, critical to building applications using services based on an SOA approach. With these SCA specifications now mature, the partners intend to turn over their standardization process to OASIS. Additionally, the partners have completed work on the SDO specifications, designed to enable uniform access to data residing in multiple locations and formats, and will turn over stewardship of SDO/Java work to the Java Community Process and non-Java (C++) work to OASIS.
The SCA and SDO specifications can help organizations to more easily create new and transform existing IT assets, enabling reusable services that may be rapidly assembled to meet changing business requirements. These specifications greatly reduce complexity associated with developing applications by providing a way to unify services regardless of programming language and deployment platform. Both are technologies designed to simplify the representation of business logic and business data. Early customers are already implementing and gaining value.
“We applaud the Open SOA Collaboration for reaching this milestone and for choosing to take the next step and advance this important work through an open standards process,” said Patrick Gannon, president and CEO of OASIS. “We look forward to furthering the evolution of SCA from specifications to standards and to promoting the broadest possible industry adoption through education and implementation efforts.”
Since November 2005, 18 companies have joined the effort to work on new industry specifications aimed at simplifying SOA application development. Partner companies include BEA Systems, Cape Clear, IBM Corporation, Interface21, IONA, Oracle, Primeton Technologies, Progress Software, Red Hat, Rogue Wave Software, SAP AG, Siemens AG, Software AG, Sun Microsystems, Sybase, TIBCO Software, and Xcalia. Together, these companies have achieved significant progress around SCA and SDO specifications.
The partners will continue to incubate and drive technology initiatives focused on simplifying SOA application development. Additionally, the group’s vendor-neutral Web site (www.OSOA.org) will continue to serve as an information resource for access to draft specifications and white papers, and provide a forum for industry input and feedback.
OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) is a not-for-profit, international consortium that drives the development, convergence, and adoption of e-business standards. The consortium produces more Web services standards than any other organization along with standards for security, e-business, and standardization efforts in the public sector and for application-specific markets. Founded in 1993, OASIS has more than 5,000 participants representing over 600 organizations and individual members in 100 countries. For more information, visit www.oasis-open.org.
About Open SOA
The Open SOA Collaboration represents an informal group of industry leaders that share a common interest: defining a language-neutral programming model that meets the needs of enterprise developers who are developing software that exploits Service Oriented Architecture characteristics and benefits. The Collaboration is not a Standards Body; it is a set of vendors who wish to innovate rapidly in the development of this programming model and to deliver Specifications to the community for implementation. These specifications are made available to the community on a Royalty Free basis for the creation of compatible implementations. When mature, the intent is to hand these specifications over to a suitable Standards Body for future shepherding. For more information, visit www.osoa.org.