HP Rolls Out SOA Governance Model

HP described additions to its portfolio of solutions for service-oriented architectures (SOAs).

The company added to its SOA strategy by laying out a SOA governance model incorporating its HP SOA Systinet software and HP SOA Manager products. HP is also offering a way for ISVs to publish SOA services with its new HP SOA Registry Foundation software product. Finally, it is going public with its HP Governance Interoperability Framework (GIF), which simplifies the exchange of information between HP SOA Systinet software.

HP's announcements expand on its Business Technology Optimization strategy for SOA, which was announced in May of last year, which aimed to help organizations in three key areas: SOA governance, SOA quality and SOA management. The new announcements also indicate that HP is continuing to foster its Systinet technology, which was acquired when HP bought Mercury at the beginning of last year.

Systinet is largely the reason why HP showed up as a "leader" in Gartner's 2007 Magic Quadrant ranking of SOA solution providers, according to Avrami Tzur, vice president for SOA at HP Software, who came to HP from Mercury. In conjunction with SOA Manager, Systinet can provide a complete design time and runtime governance solution, he added.

"[For SOA,] you need collaboration between developers and operations, and the integration of design time and runtime governance helps that happen," Tzur said.

On the management side, HP's SOA solutions let users check to see if a service is in compliance with corporate policies via an Eclipse plug-in. The solution includes a new report writer, plus search capability to check "taxonomy trees," or categories, of services. Users can propose services before they are initiated via a service initiation collaboration tool. If approved, the services can then move into the implementation stage, Tzur said.

A key technology in Systinet is the use of a SOA registry. HP's Systinet SOA registry technology is currently incorporated at the OEM level by companies such as Oracle, BEA and Tibco, Tzur said.

Tzur described the registry as the only stable component in your SOA infrastructure. "It's like a table of contents," he said. ISVs typically need to have a registry embedded in their products. Developers need an embedded registry to manage interoperability at the desktop. The point of a SOA registry is that while SOA applications may run in different locations, the registry lets one update the application wherever it may reside. It contains the data about how things are related in a production environment and where they are in production.

SOA represents rather daunting prospect for many organizations, and implementing governance is the key way to prevent chaos as services are added with the same functionality. Governance also ensures that the services that are added comply with the organization's policies. HP addresses the SOA educational needs of organizations through its consulting services, which focus on SOA governance, SOA quality and SOA performance. The educational curriculum is being conducted in partnership with Everware-CDBI, a vendor-agnostic education company that offers a full set of courses worldwide, according to Mark LeJeunesse, HP services SOA WW program director.

Much of SOA governance concerns collaboration among people within an organization, and HP offers management and technical training on those organizational aspects of SOA through its HP SOA Center of Excellence. The center addresses issues such as consistency across systems, how to evangelize within an organization and how to ensure ROI, LeJeunesse explained.

Finally, HP plans to open up its GIF as a standard, which previously was available only to HP's GIF partners. The company's announcement indicated that 10 new partners have decided to adopt GIF, including Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco and Oracle, among others.

While SOA, as an architectural philosophy, may not seem to require a standard such as GIF, Tzur explained that the loose coupling aspect of SOA has led to a need to "exchange data and metadata around all of those services, applications and policies, and GIF is just a specification on how to do it." He described GIF as based on the UDDI and WS-* standards and an enhancement in describing the data that needs to be exchanged.

Additional information on HP's SOA line of products is available here.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor, Enterprise Group, at 1105 Media Inc.