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Super-meta-data

Sometimes I think the best part about SOA is all the TLAs I have to remember.
Systinet is introducing another one - GIF (Governance Interoperability Framework). It's a mouthful, but the idea behind GIF is to provide a single "super-meta-data" repository in which information about an enterprise SOA can be managed, accessed and reported upon.
While WS-Policy provides a flexible and extensible grammar for expressing the capabilities, requirements, and general characteristics of entities in an XML Web services-based system, it does not offer a mechanism for tying this meta-data to concepts such as business function and unit nor does it tie together the policy with the service through WSDL. Systinet's GIF plans to join Business Functions (owner, location, business unit) with Technical Data (version, platform, related services) with Governance information (service levels, policies, approvals and certifications).

Systinet's GIF offers a centralized console in which Web Service policies can be closely associated with services, providing a single consolidated view of services across the entire enterprise. Systinet plans on utilizing its Business Service Registry as a central repository for GIF and its underlying super-meta-data to provide a vendor neutral, interoperable means of discovering, managing and utilizing enterprise SOA based services.

With the number of services popping up in packaged applications and growing out of enterprise application development, a centralized repository that manages both the requisite SOA components (WSDL, WS-Policy, etc...) and the super-meta-data (business function, business owner, version information, SLAs and approval status) is necessary in order for enterprises to get a handle on the services being deployed across the enterprise.

Systinet already has on board a number of SOA focused partners: AmberPoint, Actional, Layer7, DataPower, Reactivity, Composite Software and MetaMatrix to name a few, and I'd expect to see more in the near future given the dearth of vendors in the registry space.

This type of super-meta-data is also necessary in order for SOBA (Service Oriented Business Applications) to become a reality - especially if we are to believe that business users will continue to be the primary target to build such composite applications.