Use SoaML to facilitate Model Driven Architecture

Service-oriented architecture Modeling Language (SoaML) can help identify services, service requirements, and anticipated dependencies between services when modeling an SOA.

The Service-oriented architecture Modeling Language (SoaML), a UML profile created by the Object Management Group

(OMG) seeks to help architects and analysts identify services, service requirements, and anticipated dependencies between services when modeling a service-oriented architecture. Cory Casanave, CEO Model Driven Solutions and ModelDriven.org, recently discussed SoaML in an OMG Webcast.

Casanave said SoaML can be used at a purely architectural level to visualize how all of the components in a service-oriented architecture work together, or it can be used in conjunction with UML tools at a more technological level to actually plan and execute that process.

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SoaML facilitates MDA (Model Driven Architecture). This approach focuses on models and code generation. But the style of development is not just a top down process. "A big part of business process integration lies in taking existing business processes and feeding them up into architectures," said Casanave. In other words, SoaML can support roundtrip engineering, allowing teams to create models based on existing application elements.

Casanave described ModelPro, an open-source tool from ModelDriven.org as a tool that can be used with SoaML to develop a business model, create a logical systems model, and then develop the technology specification. The tool can read any kind of model, as well as provision source code, documents, and any other deliverables required for a working application, he said. ModelPro comes bundled with SoaML and JEE cartridges that can produce Web service components for JEE applications using SoaML.

Is SoaML gaining traction? It is early to tell. "There's pretty broad based support," said Casanave. According to Casanave, IBM is talking about supporting SoaML in their tools, and the profile has been implemented in at least two other modeling tools.

SoaML Reference Guide
Hear the Casanave podcast
Complete OMG SoaML specification
SoaML Wiki
This was first published in July 2009

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