Heather Kreger, Raleigh, NC
Heather is an IBM Distinguished Engineer, IBM’s CTO of International Standards and lead architect for SOA Standards in Software Group.
The Open Group announced last month the most important standard for service oriented architecture (SOA) – The SOA Reference Architecture (SOA RA). The SOA RA standard, based on IBM's submission of the SOA Solution Stack and SOA Foundation, provides organizations with the foundation for architecting and implementing their SOA solutions. Businesses can use the SOA RA as a measuring stick for their current SOA solutions, giving architects the ability to level set against an industry-accepted standard.
Organizations using the standardized SOA RA as a starting point will have a common understanding of SOA and a way to communicate across lines of business, business roles, vendors and partners clearly and concisely. This reduces the risk of misunderstandings that can impede the success of their solutions and ability to meet business goals. In today’s business environment, we can ill-afford waste and delay, so its important to use a standardized SOA RA to reduce the time-to-value in the SOA solution lifecycle, ultimately enabling your business to increase agility, reduce risk, reduce cost and improve quality across your organization.
IBM continues to invest in standards for architects of service oriented architecture (SOA) solutions. These standards typically address customer architecture considerations, since they are intended to help organizations more easily deploy service-based solutions rapidly and reliably in multi-vendor environments.
Logical Solution View of the SOA RA – read the Open Group’s "Overview of the SOA RA Layers"
To accompany this standard, IBM has just published the “IBM advantage for SOA reference architecture standards” article, which provides an overview of the standard, its basis on IBM assets and experience, its applicability in cloud computing, and how IBM’s software product portfolio and services offerings support it.
International standards being developed as emerging regions adopt SOA
The international standards community (ISO/IEC JTC1) has recently started working on architecture standards for SOA, reflecting the adoption and importance of SOA by governments and emerging regions. The Open Group has a suite of SOA standards, based on IBM and industry contributions and experience, that are suitable for international standards status, including the:
This collective body of work provides a comprehensive standards-based approach for businesses to achieve increased agility, reduced costs and improved quality as they implement SOA solutions and utilize cloud computing environments. Read more about each of these standards and their accompanying IBM Advantage papers.
Having a suite of consistent international standards is essential. We’ve seen communication barriers between business professionals, architects, and IT roles; between customers and vendors; and between partners. Those communication barriers are even higher and more frequent when you add in cross-language and cross-cultural dimensions. Having well written, detailed standards and guidelines for SOA will provide an anchor for those discussions, a place to point to and say, “here is what I mean; is this what you mean?” or “I am using this subset of that standard and here’s why.”
IBM has been working with the Open Group to get ISO/IEC ratification of these standards. The first of these standards to achieve international standard status (in January) is the Open Service Integration Maturity Model (OSIMM) (ISO/IEC 16680). As a result of this, China is considering the adoption of OSIMM as a China National Standard. The Open Group has recently submitted The SOA Governance Framework Standard for ratification as well. In addition, The Open Group has submitted the SOA Ontology Standard and new SOA RA standard to ISO/IEC for use in the development of new SOA standards being drafted there.
IBM will keep working with The Open Group to continue the process of achieving approval of key SOA standards by ISO/IEC, to enable them to serve a more global community and establish enhanced legitimacy versus competitive SOA standards. As co-chair of The Open Group SOA Work Group and the liaison for The Open Group to ISO, I am representing the SOA standards in the international venues, and lead IBM’s international team on SOA standards.