IBM expanding SOA governance offerings

IBM is expanding its SOA governance efforts with new products and services, featuring best practices and a Rational tool plug-in for configuring governance.

The company says it believes SOA governance has been defined too narrowly as managing of services in a registry.

"What we want to first establish is SOA governance is a lot more about helping people define roles and responsibilities and decision rights and helping organizations establish policies and measurements," said Roger Oberg, vice president of marketing and strategy at IBM Rational. "These are the real challenging aspects of governance."

IBM's SOA governance definition fits, one analyst said.

"IBM has a good, broad, appropriate definition of SOA governance" said Randy Heffner, analyst at Forrester Research, in an e-mail. "Many of the specialist players want people to think that SOA governance is only about runtime enforcement of service request routing and access policies and such. Those are important, but the bigger impact is with the traditional IT governance issues of doing the right stuff and moving the organization towards a common direction."

As part of the IBM Business Consulting Services program, IBM is unveiling SOA Governance and Management Method, featuring a set of best practices for SOA. The program provides consulting to map requirements, policies and business plans for SOA.

"For SOA governance, we've never codified or documented [best practices] in this way before," Oberg said.

New software being unveiled includes the SOA Governance plug-in for IBM Rational Method Composer. With the plug-in, governance practices are packaged as a reusable asset and delivered via Rational Method Composer, which features processes and tools for IT lifecycle management.

Also part of the effort is IBM Rational Data Architect, software announced on Tuesday. It is for enforcing corporate and industry standards on data models and helping to govern SOA-compliant information architectures. IBM Tivoli Change and Configuration Management Database, meanwhile, is a new tool for discovering and managing information about a client's IT environment.

IBM's SOA program also includes the previously announced Workplace Business Strategy Execution, an online portal to help executives manage strategy milestones. It is based on the concept of a Balanced Scorecard. The IBM WebSphere Service Registry and Repository product announced last week plays a role in IBM's SOA effort as well, allowing for management of services for incorporation into composite applications.

Rational Data Architect is available now while the governance plug-in availability is yet to be determined. The Tivoli database offering is due next quarter. Consulting services are available now.

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