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Tactical SOA Governance Processes. AKA, where to start?

Dave Berry of Oracle writes: I was discussing with a solutions consultant recently the perceived complexity of putting in place an initial governance solution. In following up on Mike van Alst’s recent blog on SOA governance processes, I wondered what tactical processes would be approachable for an organization trying to get a handle on SOA asset management. A couple things came to mind that I’ve heard from customers such as loading assets into their repository to discover dependencies with the benefit being more granular deployment bundles and reduced deployment time. But an even more mundane and common process every customer has some processes in place for is the management of endpoints in different environments. I’ll admit up front that this may not be a simple task but it is one that almost every organization has some practical experience with and thus a good starting point.

The basic use case is fairly straightforward and well known. SOA projects checked into source control systems contain files such as WSDL, XSD and BPEL deployment descriptors. These assets import URL’s pointing to hard coded hostnames and ports specific to a particular environment such as,, stage, prod etc. The environments are typically separated from each other using a firewall or physically isolated network to make sure there isn’t any accidental sharing of data across environments. This is a great example by the way of a business requirement driving a data quality and assurance governance process. Anyway, managing these assets as they are deployed to their respective environments and assuring they only interact with other services, assets or infrastructure servers within that environments is not a trivial task. In the JCA adapter world, JNDI is used to create consistent names across different environments for database, JMS connectors and connection pools but this technique is generally not applicable for web service based assets. A service bus proxy service or service registry providing a normalized UDDI serviceKey can help fill this gap.

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