An abundance of specifications and standards have emerged from the open standards organizations of OASIS, OMG, and The Open Group on the subject of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). This document was written to help the SOA community at large to navigate the myriad of overlapping technical products produced by these organizations with specific emphasis on the “A” in SOA; i.e., Architecture.
Fortunately, there is a great deal of agreement on the foundational core concepts across the many independent open specifications and standards for SOA. This could best be explained by broad and common experience of users of SOA and its maturity in the marketplace. It also provides assurance that investing in SOA-based business and IT transformation initiatives that incorporate and use these open specifications and standards helps to mitigate risks that might compromise a successful SOA solution.
The specifications and standards described in this document can be used together in many complementary ways. An excellent example is incorporating the use modeling techniques into an SOA project by using SoaML in concert with an SOA reference architecture. In addition, the SOA reference models, ontology, and reference architectures described in this document can be used as input to requests for proposals (RFPs) that extend SoaML with additional modeling capabilities.
Users of the technical products produced by the open standards organizations should make every effort possible to understand the strengths of each body of work and select the technical products most appropriate for their needs, consistent with where they are today, and where they plan to head on their SOA journeys. The Open Group Service Integration Maturity Model (OSIMM) can be used to help assess the SOA needs and goals of an organization or project and help gain insight into which of these specifications and standards is most relevant to the problem at hand.
We anticipate continuing the collaborative efforts of our respective SOA architecture-related specifications and standards to ensure that they continue to evolve in as consistent and complete a manner as possible.