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By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2007-03-21 Print this article Print

The key service-oriented architecture standards aim to help organizations more easily create new IT assets and transform existing ones.

The main contribution of SCA is the metadata for assembling services developed in multiple languages into an SOA-based application, and the ability to deploy such an SOA-based application across heterogeneous platforms, such as multiple ESBs (Enterprise Service Bus), ESBs and application servers in combination, and other scenarios, Newcomer said.

Moreover, Newcomer said: "We are very glad to have been among the original six partners in the SCA collaboration, and we are very proud that we contributed to the development of several of the Version 1 specifications. But now that we have seen V1 through to the end, and the specifications are going into OASIS, we will be turning our attention more toward contributing to OSGi [Open Services Gateway initiative] and Eclipse."

Further, Newcomer said OSGi and SCA are "definitely complementary." And IONA will continue to incorporate the SCA assembly and policy specs into its work on the Eclipse STP project, and into its Artix and Celtix products "where it makes sense, so we will be keeping a hand in," Newcomer said.

"But in terms of where we will be spending our efforts on contributing to further SOA standardization work, we will definitely be focusing more on the enterprise expert group recently started at OSGi," Newcomer said. "With the relative maturity of SCA now indicated by this announcement, the lightweight, simple architecture of OSGi is a very attractive place to put our efforts."

Ronald Schmelzer, an analyst with ZapThink, said the Open SOA effort is really an effort by the heterogeneous vendors to provide a common means for interaction with regard to service execution and data access. "Certainly on the face of it, it would seem that those products that provide even a moderate level of interoperability will fare better than those that don't," Schmelzer said.

And this is the case in environments where companies have purchased multiple instances of SOA infrastructure from multiple vendors, Schmelzer said.

However, Schmelzer said ZapThink is starting to see consolidation by users in the number of vendors they involve in their SOA efforts.

"While interoperability in theory is good, in practice, many end users are opting for single vendor solutions," Schmelzer said "So, while Open SOA as an effort doesn't ring false, it doesn't signal any specific new movement on either the part of SOA, which was already open from inception, or vendors, who despite the claims of interoperability still desire sole ownership of their customer's SOA infrastructure."

Check out eWEEK.com's for the latest news, reviews and analysis in Web services.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.
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