SOA: It's all about integration

* IBM, LogicLibrary make announcements in the SOA world

Everybody knows that service-oriented architecture is all about integration. Integrating departments, companies, government agencies, vendors, and customers is SOA's sweet spot. What isn't as often recognized is how important this same concept has become to vendor products as well.

IBM has made a series of SOA-related announcements over the past month detailing enhancements to multiple product lines including WebSphere, Lotus, Rational, Tivoli and storage. The announcements also covered services, knowledge assets and information management products. For the analyst community this involved multiple conference calls and follow-up product briefings where necessary. The sheer breadth of these announcements was impressive, and it was near the end of my fourth conference call that I finally made the connection that put it all into perspective. This was driven home by a recent briefing with SOA vendor LogicLibrary regarding the release of Logidex 5.0. It's all about integration.

A major piece of news on the IBM side was the general availability of the IBM WebSphere Service Registry and Repository (WSRR) on Sept. 29. This is a Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration-compliant registry/repository that enables federation with multiple WebSphere instances and with other UDDI-compliant products as well. Concurrent announcements related to the WebSphere Process Server, WebSphere Integration Developer, and WebSphere ESB enhancements all include the registry and repository as core functionality.

In addition, WSRR integrates with related products across the IBM product line. For example, tight integration with Tivoli ITCAM for SOA V6.1 adds robust SOA governance and management. Integration with Rational adds the link with development. When you look at the work that was required simply to design seamless coordination across the products - to say nothing of the actual work itself - these announcements are a major achievement.

In related news, LogicLibrary on Oct. 31 announced Logidex 5.0, the latest version of its design and development time registry and repository. Among the enhancements is two-way integration with SOA Software's Network Director and - you guessed it - future integration with IBM's WSSR.

While Logidex focuses specifically on design and development time, the round trip capability with runtime software is a conduit for software governance throughout the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC). Once coding and testing are complete, components can be passed into the runtime registry for production use. When components have to be passed back to development for enhancement or maintenance, the two-way integration handles that as well. In the case of Logidex, the SmartControls module acts as a "gatekeeper" to govern the use of components by role or by signature.

It's interesting to see that, although WSRR has only been in general availability for a month, other vendors already have plans to integrate with it. And it is clear that the standards efforts of the past several years are paying off and that standards-based integrations will be the rule going forward.

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Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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