Skip to main content

Governance and SOA

IBM has some interesting thoughts and papers on Governance in the context of SOA. This is clearly an important topic: let's get it right this time is my feeling. (If you need an example of what can go wrong when these issues are not properly thought through just consider the email fiasco: SPAM is essentially a throw back to an era before there were stamps on envelopes and only the rich could afford to receive a letter.)

However, IBM's stance appears to focus on what we (the OASIS SOA Reference Architecture committee) call the “Enterprise SOA”. In contrast to the situation where there is an easily definable corporate body that owns the SOA, the “Internet SOA” corresponds to the real Internet. In the Internet SOA there are no governing authorities to set up nice committees to decide what can and cannot be published.

However, just because there is no Big Sibling does not mean that governance is not a critical issue for Internet-scale SOAs. We simply have to find another way.

It is said that European law was based on a pre-existing body of 'Merchant Law'. This was an era of very limited central government, city states and a surprising amount of international trade. Without a recognized legal framework, merchants were forced to settle disputes among themselves. Much like the Internet today.

Anyway, we are looking for the right architectural hooks on which to hang governance and related concepts.

Popular posts from this blog

Existential Types are the flip side of generics

Generic types, as can now be seen in all the major programming languages have a flip side that has yet to be widely appreciated: existential types.

Variables whose types are generic may not be modified within a generic function (or class): they can be kept in variables, they can be passed to other functions (provided they too have been supplied to the generic function), but other than that they are opaque. Again, when a generic function (or class) is used, then the actual type binding for the generic must be provided – although that type may also be generic, in which case the enclosing entity must also be generic.

Existential types are often motivated by modules. A module can be seen to be equivalent to a record with its included functions: except that modules also typically encapsulate types too. Abstract data types are a closely related topic that also naturally connect to existential types (there is an old but still very relevant and readable article on the topic Abstract types have …

Concept Oriented Markup

I have long been frustrated with all the different text mark up languages and word processors that I have used. There are many reasons for this; but the biggest issue is that markups (including very powerful ones like TeX) are not targeted at the kind of stuff I write.

Nowadays, it seems archaic to still be thinking in terms of sections and chapters. The world is linked and that applies to the kind of technical writing that I do.

I believe that the issue is fundamental. A concept like "section" is inherently about the structure of a document. But, what I want to focus on are concepts like "example", "definition", and "function type".

A second problem is that, in a complex environment, the range of documentation that is available to an individual reader is actually composed of multiple sources. Javadoc exemplifies this: an individual library may be documented using Javadoc into a single HTML tree. However, most programmers require access to multiple…

Hook, Line and Sinker

It is well documented that people’s #1 fear is speaking in public! Effective and efficient public speaking is a whole topic in its own right; but a few simple tips might help to both improve your effectiveness and help to reduce the anxiety.

You may be called on to talk about your work at very short notice; or you may have a week’s notice; and you may be required to give a formal slide show or just a brief verbal update. Many, if not most of the issues, are the same.
The Hook
Newspaper editors call the first paragraph of an article ‘the hook’. Its meant to hook you into reading the rest of the piece. On the other hand, the classical ‘say what you are going to say, say it, and say what you said’ approach gives people plenty of time to switch off.

The hook may be playful, it may be controversial, but it must communicate why the listener should pay attention.
The Line
Its a conversation! Even if no one says anything they are listening and thinking; and maybe replying to you in their head. So, …