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New Committees Hope to Standardize Service Component Architecture for SOA

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OASIS, the international open standards consortium, has formed six new technical committees to simplify service oriented architecture (SOA) application development by advancing the service component architecture (SCA) family of specifications. SCA defines a flexible model for creating business solutions using service components. The work will be organized within the OASIS Open Composite Services Architecture (Open CSA) member section, and the resulting specifications will be offered for implementation on a royalty-free basis.

"SCA is based on the idea that business functions are provided as a series of services that can be wired together to create solutions for particular business needs. These composite applications can contain new services created specifically for the application and reuse existing business functions from existing systems," explained Anne Thomas Manes, vice president and research director for Burton Group. "SCA offers the potential to streamline the SOA design process by enabling the delivery of easy-to-use tools developers need to transform IT assets into reusable services."

"Each of the six new OASIS committees will address a different aspect of SCA. This will allow smaller groups of members with specific expertise or interest in one area to collaborate more effectively," noted Jeff Mischkinsky of Oracle who chairs the OASIS Open CSA Member Section Steering Commitee, which will handle overall coordination of the work.

The SCA model encompasses a wide range of technologies for service components, access methods that connect them, and policy that provides declarative qualities of service. For components, this includes not only different programming languages, but also frameworks and environments commonly used with those languages. For access methods, SCA compositions allow for the use of various communication and service access technologies in common use. For policy, this includes a framework for integrating commonly-used policy languages and quality of service expressions.

Mischkinsky will convene the OASIS SCA-Assembly Technical Committee (TC), which will define the core composition model. The group will work closely with the SCA-Policy TC, convened by Michael Rowley of BEA Systems, to define a policy framework for SCA as well as specific reliable messaging, security and transactions policies.

Mike Edwards of IBM will convene the SCA-Bindings TC, which will standardize bindings for SCA services and references to various communication protocols, technologies, and frameworks. Edwards will also convene the SCA-BPEL TC, which will specify how SCA component implementations can be written using the Web Services Business Process Execution Language (WS-BPEL).

The OASIS SCA-C-C++ TC, convened by Pete Robbins of IBM, and the SCA-J TC, convened by Henning Blohm of SAP, will develop specifications that standardize the use of C and C++ and Java technologies, respectively, within an SCA domain.

The SCA Technical Committees have committed to developing a test plan, test cases, and scenarios for each specification.

"These six OASIS SCA TCs plan to address the tough 'last mile' of SOA project implementation," said James Bryce Clark, director of standards development at OASIS. "If a group of software engineers want to compose two specific services into an application using C and BPEL, for example, they'll face some challenging design choices. The SCA TCs plan to provide practical help, in the form of language bindings, a policy framework, and code patterns."

Participation in these OASIS SCA TCs remains open to all companies, non-profit groups, governments, academic institutions, and individuals. Archives of the work will be accessible to both members and non-members, and OASIS will offer a mechanism for public comment.

Support for SCA

Additional information may be found at the following sites:

About OASIS

OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards), drives the development, convergence, and adoption of open standards for the global information society. A not-for-profit consortium, OASIS advances standards for SOA, security, Web services, documents, e-commerce, government and law, localization, supply chains, XML processing, and other areas of need identified by its members. OASIS open standards offer the potential to lower cost, stimulate innovation, grow global markets, and protect the right of free choice. The consortium has more than 5,000 participants representing over 600 organizations and individual members in 100 countries OASIS.

OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) drives the development, convergence, and adoption of open standards for the global information society. A not-for-profit consortium, OASIS advances standards for content technologies, SOA, security, Web services, cloud computing, emergency management, e-commerce, e-government, and other areas of need identified by its members. OASIS open standards offer the potential to lower cost, stimulate innovation, grow global markets, and protect the right of free choice of technology. The consortium has more than 5,000 participants representing over 600 organizations and individual members in 100 countries. http://www.oasis-open.org

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