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A Unifying Mechanism for Effective SOA: The Business Service Registry
The top seven dangers of using a non-registry based SOA revealed

Danger #3: Difficult to Relate and Reuse Application Functionality
One of the most important roles of an SOA Business Service Registry is to expose information and applications that are redundant, conflicting, or inefficiently distributed across the organization. In short, the goal is visibility of the business services portfolio - getting users to the right applications at the right time. Visibility also enables other benefits, such as speedier development, greater application reuse, improved governance, and better business planning and management.

Without visibility, IT architects and developers can't fully grasp which applications are under construction, which could be adapted for reuse, and which components are available. Without visibility, users can't find and use the resources they need.

Danger #4: Proprietary, Difficult to Maintain Interoperability Software
A Business Service Registry that is fully compliant with standard Web services and the Web services standard UDDI interface offers the greatest flexibility in implementing SOA. Any business service endpoint can be published and located in a Registry, whether or not it is a Web service. Standards compliance is vital to ensuring that you have the best, most up-to-date interface that delivers on-demand, location-independent interoperability.

Danger #5: No Motivation to Reuse Services
One of the most immediate ways an SOA Business Service Registry can create ROI is by helping businesses cut development costs. The key to this task lies in increasing the reuse of enterprise applications. Even in smaller businesses, applications can easily get lost in different business-unit and development-platform silos. Web services and SOA can help to make applications more readily available, but without a Registry to guide the way, it remains difficult to locate them or evaluate their usefulness.

Danger #6: Time Wasted Locating Service Information
By providing a fully annotated, service-oriented view of applications, a Business Service Registry also speeds the development cycle. A Registry provides an automated process for developing, unifying, and replacing more ad hoc procedures. It does so by identifying important versioning,

technical information, and participant information related to particular development tasks, so that projects get up and running more quickly.

By providing location and transport independence, a Registry gives business analysts and IT architects the tools they need to make sure services are resilient in a changing IT environment, while remaining consistent with changing policies.

Danger #7: No Control and Lack of Dependable Business Services
One of the key elements of visibility and reusability offered by a Business Service Registry lies in its enablement of process definition and the development of extensive service descriptions. By offering a high level of detail, the Registry does more than simply enable the ability to locate a service; it reveals the content behind a service and makes it easy for users, developers, and analysts to get a deeper understanding of business services to determine whether they've found the right service.

These same service descriptions also enable managers to better monitor and control services. Enterprises can develop metadata for services detailing everything from security and performance criteria to versioning and release notes.

These same features - enabling, approving, and certifying service descriptions - also streamline and govern the act of publishing services. In turn, this ability to catalogue and categorize an organization's portfolio of services streamlines the monitoring and management process.

A Business Service Registry creates the practical framework for letting companies manage all the information about their services, enabling monitoring and reporting for services and descriptions. The wealth of services information available and the ability to generate reports on that information is a key to effective management. Without a Registry to track services and their interrelationships, an SOA environment not only lacks coherence and control, it invites chaos.

Summary
An SOA enables the creation of a flexible business software system that can adapt to changing business and architectural requirements. A successful SOA can increase application interoperability and usage, inspire reuse of services and resources, speed application development, and improve service governance. However, such architecture requires a standards-based Business Service Registry that can expose every service and application in the enterprise. While offering the unifying power of service description, the Registry must also be flexible enough to encourage autonomy and innovation at all levels of the organization.

About Luc Clement
Luc Clement is director of product marketing, SOA Registry
for Systinet. He is also cochair for the UDDI Specification
Technical Committee. Formerly Microsoft UDDI Program Manager,
Luc is well-known in the UDDI community and has been heavily involved
with the UDDI specification for several years.

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