Today I’d like to focus on SOA Governance, a hot theme here at Impact. I’ve been going to a couple of sessions and am beginning to realize the confusing breadth of tooling available to us and our customers. One particular session focused on the respective communities involved in the service life-cycle and the supporting tools for the phases of this cycle. The three rough phases are Building; Configuring and Executing; and Managing services. It turns out that IBM offers tools to support these 3 broad activities. Rational Asset Manager will help developers find all sorts of assets in order to assemble them into solutions. WebSphere Service Registry and Repository will be used to configure various aspects of a service, such as policies and endpoints, and will be able to leverage these configurations in run-time. Tivoli Configuration Management Database, finally, will be the supportive tool to manage the services in runtime. Into the picture also enters Tivoli Composite Application Manager for SOA that somehow interacts with the previous product.
The session outlined how these products managed various sets of a service’s metadata throughout the service lifecycle. Through various connections, they can also propagate the metadata between them. I won’t pretend I understood all the details, but what I did understand is that only this layer of the whole SOA cake is big and confusing. How on earth shall we help our customers digest this, I wonder? This product proliferation, with the various offerings partially overlapping each other, screams out for simplicity, not one of IBM’s most prominent attributes 🙂 .
Again, as we did with systems integration, we will have to find the simple story and packaged approach to this. Stay tuned!
Oh, by the way, I got myself certified (the two SOA tests), which was fun. Especially the second test was strange, with a lot of fuzzy questions. I did pass it with a hair’s breadth, so obviously some luck went into it, but hey, that will be forgotten quickly!