SMB - SOA vendors link up for interoperability

A gaggle of vendors specializing in SOA (service-oriented architecture) said on Monday that they were joining forces to make it easier to get technology from different vendors to interoperate.

SOA Link is an "interoperability initiative" that was organized by SOA governance vendor Infravio. The group counts companies such as AmberPoint, Forum Systems, JBoss, Layer 7 Technologies, NetIQ, and Reactivity as members.

SOA Link members say that they will work on creating a standard way for different SOA governance technologies, such as policy repositories, authoring systems, or run time enforcement systems, to interoperate, according to a statement from Infravio.

Service-oriented architecture is a kind of software application architecture that uses common description languages such as XML (Extensible Markup Language) to create interfaces for different business processes that can be accessed by client software running on any operating system.

Products from participating members will be able to publish services and issue policies in a standard way, allowing SOA Link partner products to keep abreast of changes in other products when they happen, Infravio said.

The goal is to create a system where customers can piece together an end-to-end solution for SOA governance using products from different vendors.

SOA Link will not publish a specific API (application programming interface) to provide interoperability. Instead, member companies are promising to deliver interoperable solutions to their customers.

A number of members announced or planned support for Infravio's X-Registry Platform SOA registry repository as part of the announcement.

SOA Link and other recent developments are evidence that SOA is moving beyond the "hype" stage, said Ron Schmelzer, an analyst at Zapthink, which sells research to SOA firms.

"SOA's not hype. SOA and Web services are moving beyond the 'connect things together' stage. We're at a point where it's becoming a part of the mainstream," Schmelzer said.

"That's a bit less sexy, because you're getting down to brass tacks: implementation details, not the big news stories," Schmelzer said.

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