Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: John Esposito, Elizabeth White, AppDynamics Blog, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Microservices Expo

Microservices Expo: Article

SOA Governance Best Practices – Architectural, Organizational, and SDLC Implications

Taking the management of services to the next level

How do we achieve these high standards for our services under development? By establishing standardized governance/review checkpoints throughout the service SDLC. We recommend that at a minimum, organizations should review services under development at these points in the SDLC:

  • Requirements Complete: All business requirements documented and initial service definition specified (ideally as WSDL), allowing reviewers to validate the service against its business architectural context
  • Design Complete: Implementation approach defined with sufficient documentation (e.g., UML design models completed, relevant legacy APIs identified) to allow reviewers to validate design against technical and application/integration architectural contexts
  • Implementation Complete: Service implemented and deployed in a test environment, with sufficient supporting documentation (e.g., sample client code, automated/manual test cases and test results, usage guide) to enable a potential consumer to understand the service and to trust its quality and stability
Other review points may also be appropriate based on organizational needs and objectives. However, don't overwhelm your development teams with process for the sake of process: you will quickly instill a revolt of the masses if you force seemingly arbitrary hoops for developers to jump through in the process of completing their work. Your objective should be "just enough process" - don't overwhelm your project teams with unnecessary workload, but rather provide enough guidance at key points in the production and consumption life cycles to make sure things stay on track. You are very likely going to have to iteratively reach the right level of process for your organization - start with as lightweight a process as you think will work, and then add process steps only as you find need for them. A well-designed services registry/repository can assist in automating these governance processes, thereby reducing the "organizational friction" that could otherwise hinder people from "doing the right thing."

Production Best Practice: Versioned Services Governance
Because services (like components) are meant to be used in more than one application, organizations need to plan for the incremental enhancement of their services over a long deployment lifetime. In effect, organizations planning to build a robust, stable, and extensible SOA need to treat their services as "products."

What does treating a service as a "product" mean to our IT organization?

1.  Each produced service must have a regular and well-defined release cycle. This release cycle needs to occur often enough to meet consumer needs on a timely basis, but not so often as to churn existing consumers. Typically a release cycle of somewhere between three and six months is appropriate for most organizations, and allows them to meet new service needs without unduly disrupting existing applications. As multiple versions of a service are released, consider defining these life-cycle states for your services:

  • Under Development: Available for requirements gathering and application development team planning purposes
  • Production: Mainline version for use in new development
  • Retired: Still in use by existing applications but not allowed for use by new apps
  • Obsolete: All applications should be migrated off this version; version metadata is maintained for traceability/audit purposes only
2.  Services must preserve backward compatibility wherever possible. Deprecation techniques (where obsolete operations are identified as such and notice is given to consumers that those operations will be removed from service interfaces in future releases) give existing consumers time to migrate to newer service releases. Service providers should provide n-1 version support at a minimum - all services provided in the prior version (except those marked as deprecated) should be preserved intact in the current version. In addition, consider providing a "grace period" where both service versions are deployed to allow consumers to make any necessary changes to integrate the new service version. Dynamic run-time binding techniques via Web services management infrastructure (e.g., service proxies or UDDI-based late binding) can also simplify the migration process from old to new service version.

3.  Mechanisms for gathering requirements from current and potential "customers" need to be established by the enterprise architecture and service review teams. Consider establishing a "product manager" role within these organizations, one that manages the aggregate set of business requirements for the service and works to prioritize requirements with its current and potential consumers.

Again, a well-designed services repository/registry can help organizations manage service versions over their lifetimes, with automated notifications, embedded discussion forums for requirements gathering and analysis, and filter-based search capabilities that expose services to potential consumers based on service state (e.g., new application project developers should not be able to search for "Retired" or "Obsolete" services).

Distribution Best Practice: Service Distribution via Services Repository/Registry
Now that we have a set of broadly reusable services produced through our application of the aforementioned best practices, how are we going to get them into the hands of our application developers? This takes us back to the discoverability and consumability aspects of services production. Simply put, unless your services are all as simple as the ubiquitous Stock Quote example so often used in articles discussing Web services, WSDL is not enough. Syntactic definition does not equate to semantic understanding. Potential service consumers need ready access to supporting artifacts (e.g., usage guide, sample client code) to make the service consumable to them. The service also needs to be discoverable - wrapping the service with metadata that allows the user to search for useful services using varying techniques and user interfaces. \A well-designed services repository/registry goes a long way to helping IT organizations to efficiently deliver services to potential consumers. At a minimum, such a repository/registry should support both browser-based access and deep IDE integration to enable users with varying roles to discover the right services. For example, a business architect will likely feel most comfortable using domain terminology searches within a browser, while a designer or developer would prefer a UML-based visual search mechanism within their preferred IDE.

Consumption Best Practice: Service Usage Registration and Traceability by Application Development Projects
The third leg of the SOA governance stool - consumption - comes into play as we begin to build, deploy, and maintain applications based on our previously produced and distributed services. Application-based tracking of service consumption is essential for a number of reasons: to support internally defined and externally imposed business governance mandates, to simplify the process of ongoing impact analysis and change management as the SOA matures, and to provide a quantitative ROI based on real service usage statistics back to the C-level within the enterprise.

Let's take a quick look at governance mandates. Business-level governance (through the form of government regulations such as HIPAA, SOX, and Basel III) is increasingly making its way down to IT. As a result, increasing numbers of auditability and traceability requirements are being applied to the IT organization, and these requirements cannot be met without some form of service usage registration mechanism (and again, for IT organizations of any size, this registration mechanism needs to be automated through the services repository/registry).

Remember also that our services will change over time as new requirements are identified (as discussed above in the "Production Best Practice: Versioned Services Governance" section). Existing application teams need to be kept abreast of planned and implemented changes to the services they are using, both to participate in requirements feedback and to prepare for the eventual obsolescence of back-level services as new service versions are deployed.

Finally, since enterprises are not in business to serve IT but rather it's the other way around, our organization's C-level executives are certainly going to expect a quantifiable ROI from any SOA initiative. Without direct traceability over service usage, it becomes arduous at best and impossible at worst to assemble such a quantifiable ROI based on service use and reuse. On the other hand, if usage registration is built right into the services repository/registry, quantifiable ROI is as simple as running a periodic report.

Summary
Don't think managing your services operationally is enough. Just because you can keep tabs on a service's execution doesn't ensure that the service is really supporting the overall business goals of the SOA. Traceability back to the business goals/priorities through EA to SDLC to operations will make SOA successful in the enterprise. Also, don't minimize organizational impacts that may be needed - monolithic, project-centric funding models are not likely to work in the loosely coupled world of SOA.

More Stories By Brent Carlson

Brent Carlson is vice president of technology and cofounder of LogicLibrary, a provider of software development asset (SDA) management tools. He is the coauthor of two books: San Francisco Design Patterns: Blueprints for Business Software (with James Carey and Tim Graser) and Framework Process Patterns: Lessons Learned Developing Application Frameworks (with James Carey). He also holds 16 software patents, with eight more currently under evaluation.

More Stories By Eric Marks

Eric Marks is founder, president, and CEO of AgilePath Corporation, a service-oriented architecture (SOA) and Web services consulting firm based in Newburyport, MA. Marks is a software and technology veteran with 18 years of experience with firms including PricewaterhouseCoopers, Cambridge Technology Partners, Novell, Electronic Data Systems, StreamServe, Ontos, and Square D/Schneider Electric.

Comments (2) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
robertmorschel 10/10/12 03:57:00 AM EDT

In my experience SOA needs to begin with a single, skilled team that can define evolving standards and processes in an agile manner, before being let loose on the enterprise; and even then, only if the enterprise has an established and effective centralised governance function that would be able to enforce SOA policies across multiple teams.

Robert

Gary Smith - SOA Network Architect 02/22/06 11:51:19 AM EST

Excellent. This puts governance into perspective.
All the hype around SOA appliances and governance shouldn't have you running out and putting these devices on your network until you understand what governance is all about.

GES

@ThingsExpo Stories
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, will discuss how leveraging the Industrial Interne...
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
The demand for organizations to expand their infrastructure to multiple IT environments like the cloud, on-premise, mobile, bring your own device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow. As this hybrid infrastructure increases, the challenge to monitor the security of these systems increases in volume and complexity. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty, Chief Security Evangelist at Alert Logic, will show how properly configured and managed security architecture can...
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...
A critical component of any IoT project is the back-end systems that capture data from remote IoT devices and structure it in a way to answer useful questions. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle large data sets, but they are not well suited to many IoT-scale products and the need for real-time insights. At Fuze, we have developed a backend platform as part of our mobility-oriented cloud service that uses Big Data-based approache...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vice president of product management, IoT solutions at GlobalSign, will teach IoT developers how t...
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
Digital payments using wearable devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, and payment wristbands are an increasing area of focus for industry participants, and consumer acceptance from early trials and deployments has encouraged some of the biggest names in technology and banking to continue their push to drive growth in this nascent market. Wearable payment systems may utilize near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or quick response (QR) codes and barcodes...
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, will explain how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.