IBM Devises SOA Programming Model

UPDATED: The software landscape is filled with standards for Web services, but few
exist for the more broad distributed computing models such as service-oriented
architectures (SOA).

That changed today as IBM, BEA Systems, Oracle, SAP AG and others vowed to
create the SOA Programming Model, which includes specifications and open
technologies to make it easier for companies to create applications in an

SOAs, which often use Web services as the method for
exchanging applications, are all the rage because they allow software to
communicate regardless of its different code bases. If done correctly, SOAs
allow developers to reuse assets, such as code or services, to cut down on
manual coding labor.

For example, a Java-based smartphone might be used to tap into information
from a consumer’s or employees Windows-based PC, providing the necessary
interoperability and security clearance.

For consumers, Web services and SOAs might enable something as simple as
ordering merchandise through their televisions. But corporate employees should be able to leverage SOAs to exchange information across disparate computing

No wonder then that leading enterprise infrastructure software makers such as
IBM, BEA and Oracle want to open up the SOA pipeline. To this point, the
companies have created their own proprietary strategies to work with
their own products.

The SOA Programming Model is a break from this closed approach.

Its specifications include the Service Component
Architecture (SCA), an open approach to simplifying the creation and use of
business services by making middleware functions more accessible to the
application developer.

Service Data Objects (SDO) complement SCA. They provide
a common way to help users tap into data residing in multiple locations and
formats, making it easier for developers to use application programming
interfaces (API) without having to code to them.

SCA and SDO include: a Service Component Architecture for business services;
a Java spec for implementing SCA services; a C++ specification for
implementing SCA services; a Java Service Data Objects spec; and a C++
Language Service Data Objects spec.

SCA and SDO will be available royalty free, and the authors are soliciting
industry feedback. Iona, Siebel Systems, Sybase and Xcalia are also founding
members of the SOA Programming Model.

ZapThink analyst Ronald Schmelzer, whose firm analyzes SOAs and Web
services, said the fact that industry giants are throwing their weight
behind SOAs in such a determined fashion means that companies planning to
use enterprise applications will have to consider SOAs for their enterprises
or risk being left behind with unsupported products.

“The day of monolithic enterprise apps that aren’t service-oriented is now
over — this effort puts the final nail in that coffin,” Schmelzer said.

In related software standard news, OASIS ratified XML Catalogs version 1.1
and Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) version 1.1 as standards.

XML Catalogs version 1.1 defines mechanisms to facilitate processing of XML
data on computers while allowing references to files, photos and graphics
and style sheets. CAP version 1.1 provides an open format for exchanging
hazard emergency alerts and public warnings over any network.

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