SOA Governance Framework – Background


SOA Challenges and Goals

While this Technical Standard focuses on the governance considerations of SOA solutions, it is important to set the stage with an understanding of SOA. Other specifications and books are available to provide grounding in SOA fundamentals and value, including The Open Group SOA Source Book, SOA Reference Architecture, SOA Ontology, and the OASIS Reference Model for SOA. Deploying SOA does not come without its own challenges and over the last couple of years the following challenges have become commonplace:

  • Service identification
  • Demonstrating the value of SOA solutions
  • SOA solution portfolio management
  • Ensuring services satisfy business requirements
  • Service funding
  • Service management
  • Service ownership
  • Integrating web-delivered services
  • Lack of service interoperability
  • Appropriate re-use
  • Uncontrolled proliferation of services
  • Multiple silo’ed SOAs
  • Cross-organization coordination
  • Change management of services and solutions

But SOA also heightens the importance of addressing existing challenges that IT has been encountering for years, such as funding models, functional ownership, and standards compliance. Therefore, organizations should ensure that:

  1. The correct services and solutions are built that meet the needs of the business.
  2. There is a consistent approach to discovery, consumption, identification, design, development, implementation, and management of services and solutions.
  3. The appropriate organization and Line of Business (LOB) decisions are made.
  4. The SOA approach is being properly communicated throughout the organization.
  5. Proper training on SOA is taking place in the organization.
  6. The SOA Reference Architecture stays relevant.
  7. Services are funded and have documented ownership.
  8. Only approved services are deployed.
  9. Services created adhere to governance policies.
  10. Services are designed, built, and run in a secure manner.
  11. Changes to services are managed.
  12. Services are managed in a scalable way.
  13. Service developers can easily publish and discover services.
  14. Existing Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are validated when new consumers are added.
  15. SOA governance controls and exception policies exist and are effective.
  16. The appropriate and pragmatic SOA governance roles, responsibilities, and authority are understood and being executed in an acceptable manner.
  17. There is vitality in the governance process; that SOA governance is maturing as the SOA capabilities of the organization mature.

SOA Governance

To address these challenges, organizations require a comprehensive and appropriately detailed SOA Governance Model that can be deployed in an iterative and incremental manner. A comprehensive SOA Governance Model should cover all of the three main aspects, including:

  • Processes – including governing and governed processes
  • Organizational structures – including roles and responsibilities
  • Enabling technologies – including tools and infrastructure

SOA Governance Aspects

This document defines an SOA Governance Framework containing an SOA Governance Reference Model (SGRM) and the SOA Governance Vitality Method (SGVM) that allows an organization to define a customized and focused SOA Governance Regimen.