Making Sense of SOA Standards

The Open Group SOA Ontology formalizes and extends the OASIS SOA RM with additional concepts and relationships taken from an architect’s viewpoint and an enterprise-wide perspective on SOA. It provides a formal OWL representation to enable tools. The reference architectures and The Object Management Group (OMG) SoaML specification (Soa/ML) also articulate core SOA concepts to provide context for their specifications, these concepts are consistent with the SOA concepts outlined in the Navigating SOA paper.

To understand SOA architectures, The Open Group SOA RA and OASIS SOA RA both provide an understanding of the different elements of SOA and considerations for enterprise and cross-ownership boundaries in SOA ecosystems from different viewpoints. The OASIS SOA RA is more abstract and focused on an SOA ecosystem viewpoint and the cross-organizational ownership boundaries that accompany it. It provides models that function as a checklist that can be used to evaluate architectures and SOA implementations.

The Open Group SOA RA is more focused on SOA initiatives in the enterprise; guiding architects to use and deploy SOA architectural building blocks and to evaluate the implications of architectural decisions. It provides a base RA for users to refine industry and organizational RAs and positioning products in an SOA context.

To understand SOA governance, both The Open Group SOA Governance Framework and the OASIS SOA RA contain very similar basic concepts of SOA governance. The Open Group SOA Governance Framework focuses on governing SOA processes in the enterprise. Processes call into scope the service portfolio and IT infrastructure onto which SOA is deployed for governance. The framework also provides guidance on the deployment of SOA governance in an enterprise in an iterative, progressive cycle. The OASIS SOA RA directly focuses on governing services and IT infrastructure and the special consideration of doing governance in the absence of a controlling authority.

To understand your organization’s service maturity, the OSIMM (referenced above) provides a service integration maturity model that describes the broadest scope of service use so that companies can understand what SOA features they are using, which ones they want to use, and an incremental roadmap to get there.

To understand how to model SOA, OMG’s SOA modeling language (SoaML) provides a UML profile for modeling SOA artifacts (starting with OASIS SOA RM concepts) and services for your SOA as part of the transformation from a RA to your SOA solution architecture.