“Gettin’ Small”

Adding It Up

Measuring and reporting those benefits at the micro level is an important aspect of SOA lifecycle governance. Each instance of reuse of an individual service is money saved. That value, when recorded and reported, provides vital feedback to guide IT investment and project planning decisions. It also provides information that can inform the ongoing adjustment of standards and policies to insure the SOA remains in absolute alignment with business needs.

SOA lifecycle governance, injected at the micro level into the basic building blocks of the SOA, delivers macro-level benefits that help to inoculate the SOA against service interruptions that can threaten business-critical applications. The collection of information on service performance and other production metrics is equally important in assessing and communicating the business value of the SOA.

This information adds even greater detail to the feedback that is essential for fine-tuning governance efforts to insure that the SOA evolves in lock step with business objectives.

Services and other software assets are to the SOA what individual ants are to the swarm. Visibility, control, and traceability of all of these assets are essential for effective SOA governance and the ultimate success of the SOA. The ability to see, understand, and control the individual elements of the SOA and how they relate to one another is key to ensuring those assets behave like the ants in a highly coordinated swarm.

Each has a clear individual purpose serving the greater good and preserves the swarm’s ability to adapt to changes in the environment that have already proven fatal to creatures that, by virtue of their great size and inflexibility, are incapable of avoiding extinction.

As Vice President of Engineering at BEA Systems Charles Stack has been managing software development for over 20 years, with more than a decade of experience managing the development of online systems. He was the founder and CEO of Flashline, which was acquired by BEA in 2006 and he is credited with founding the first Internet retail store, Books.com.