SOA Governance Framework Becomes a Standard

The Open Group's project to produce a framework for SOA governance has passed a milestone that makes it an international standard, the organization announced earlier this month.

The Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) Governance Framework passed a six-month ratification vote of the International Standards Organization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), two key endorsements needed to establish it as a "proven SOA governance standard now available to governments and enterprises world-wide," the group announced.

The SOA Governance Framework, first published in 2009, was created to provide organizations with a standard governance reference model from which to develop their own governance regimens. It includes a description of SOA governance; an SOA Governance Reference Model (the SGRM); and the definition of the SOA Governance Vitality Method (SGVM), which is used for customizing the SGRM.

Writing in the Open Group blog, Heather Kreger, IBM's lead architect for Smarter Planet, Policy and SOA Standards, and Chris Harding, director for interoperability and SOA at The Open Group, said, "As an international standard, the framework will now provide authoritative guidelines for companies across the globe to implement sound SOA governance practices."

The Open Group describes itself as a "vendor- and technology-neutral consortium focused on open standards and global interoperability within and between enterprises." The organization was formed from the merger of the Open Systems Foundation and XOpen in the mid-1990s. The group's initial focus was the development of UNIX standards and certification of UNIX implementations. Over time, as the members' concerns moved away from UNIX as a strategy for multiplatform integration and into the realm of enterprise architecture, the group's activities and focus also shifted.

The group is probably best known for developing TOGAF, The Open Group Architecture Framework, which lays out a method for developing enterprise architecture (EA). It comes with a set of supporting tools, called the TOGAF Resource Base, but at its heart is a description of a step-by-step approach to the process called the Architecture Development Method (ADM).

The SOA Governance Framework is the group's second international SOA standard: in January of this year the Open Services Integration Maturity Model (OSIMM) passed ISO ratification. That standard is under consideration for adoption by China and Korea, among other countries, Kreger and Harding wrote, adding, "We are hoping that the new SOA Governance Framework International Standard will be given the same consideration."

The Open Group is providing a free, downloadable document that describes the SOA Governance Framework.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].