Web Services and Service-Oriented Architectures Success Depend on the Registry
Service-oriented architecture (SOA) is rapidly absorbing and surpassing Web services as a strategic initiative for IT and business executives. SOA now appears as a line item in IT budgets in many, if not most, of the world's largest corporations. Even companies with just a few Web services in production quickly experience the "SOA network effect" - an explosion of Web services driven by the superior reusability of Web services. While they deliver new levels of business performance, customer service and internal efficiency, Web services and SOA also carry significant business and technical implications.
Chief among these is the demand for a new, more advanced corporate registry that surpasses today's most advanced UDDI or ebXML registries. This new corporate registry treats Web services as highly valuable corporate assets, ensuring that companies have the proper controls, approvals and tracking functions needed to fully govern all aspects of Web services throughout their life cycle. In particular, CIOs are increasingly concerned with governance issues, such as exposure control, conformity to corporate standards, security, life cycle management and Web service interdependencies.
To that end, the new corporate registry unites an expandable and highly customizable data repository with an easy-to-use application for governing Web services. Its user interface addresses the needs of all the business and IT players in an SOA - from publishing, documenting and cataloging Web services for providers to browsing, searching and requesting authorization for use by consumers.
This new registry is far different from standard UDDI or ebXML registries, which often inhibit Web services and SOA success. Standard registries often fail to establish an enterprise-wide catalog of Web services, effectively hiding available Web services from others inside and outside the company. In addition, when these registries do publish Web service information, it is typically too technical for business-oriented users to glean useful information.
More significantly, standard UDDI and ebXML registries lack the Web services governance features needed to addresses the issues noted earlier. Consequently, companies have no clear view of what applications are consuming what Web services, nor is there sufficient control over consuming applications or who is authorized to deploy a Web service. Similarly, they have no way of notifying consuming applications of problems with or changes to the providing Web service.
The advanced registry directly addresses the shortcomings of standard registry technologies. It optimizes the visibility and control of the SOA and Web services, keeping track of Web services and their characteristics to maximize reuse. Data and meta data on providing and consuming applications, as well as their relationships, is stored to enable management and governance using a roles-based user interface that addresses the needs of providers, consumers, administrators, operators, security officers and business managers.
As a result, the advanced registry provides processes for interaction among SOA participants, such as authorizing consumers to use Web services or informing consumers about a planned new release of a Web service. It creates a central point of information designed to accommodate both changing business requirements and growing numbers of Web services.
There are products available today, designed from the ground up, to be the advanced registry that meets Web services and SOA demands, enabling companies to govern their Web Services and SOA environments for both business agility and enhanced business results. Accelerating the move to enterprise SOAs, these products provide an expanded view of the scope, roles and necessary information to sustain and manage them.
Web services and SOA adoption will continue to ramp up as organizations learn how to achieve business results with these solutions. An advanced registry is key for a successful Web services deployment or for a SOA.
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Jeff Tonkel is president and chief executive officer of Infravio, Inc. The 13-page Infravio X-registry - The Web Services Registry, Key to a Successful SOA white paper is available today by calling Infravio at (408) 861-3038, sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or downloading the paper directly from the Infravio Web site at http://www.infravio.com/whitepaper.