Open Group to speed adoption of SOA, cloud computing with new standards

Rob Barry

The Open Group technology consortium announced this week availability of two new industry standards that will help enterprises in the adoption of SOA (service-oriented architecture) and cloud computing.

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When you get to do [SOA] you find it is a different way of thinking compared to what you may have been used to.
Dr. Chris Harding
Forum Director for SOA and Semantic InteroperabilityThe Open Group
After four years of compiling and organizing best practices, TOG now offers the Open Group Service Integration Maturity Model (OSIMM) and a SOA Governance framework. OSIMM will provide a standardized model for the continued adoption and maturation of enterprise SOA practices. The SOA Governance Framework lays out a methodology for enterprises to develop their own governance regimen.

"SOA is a way of thinking about architecture in terms of services and that has certain ramifications," said Dr. Chris Harding, forum director for SOA and Semantic Interoperability at TOG. "When you get to do it you find it is a different way of thinking compared to what you may have been used to."

What, in effect, must happen to an organization new to SOA is a culture shift-- a move away from the "we are the IT department and we handle the IT," approach, according to Harding. The new standards from TOG are expected to give enterprise architects a common ground to assess their SOA maturity and governance practices without running the risk of vendor lock-in that comes from starting off by hiring a consulting firm.

Now that TOG's four-year-old SOA Work Group has released its standards, Harding said it is forming a Cloud Computing Work Group. In a similar fashion, the new work group has set out to develop a set of open standards for cloud computing.

"With the cloud, we believe the OCIMM will help you," said Harding. "It's a service integration maturity model and the cloud is a service-based concept. It may be that when we've spent four years understanding the cloud we'll probably have a better vision."

Other efforts to create standard architectures around cloud are underway. For example, earlier this summer, the Object Management Group (OMG) announced the formation of its own cloud computing work group. The group will work to coordinate and communicate industry standards for cloud computing and storage.

OMG's plan of standards development includes SLAs for services and clouds, definitional meta-element associations, as well as events and agents of communication between services in the cloud.

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