What is SOA Governance?

SOA governance is a type of IT governance used to control the development, deployment, operations and management of a successful service-oriented architecture (SOA). SOA governance involves creating, enforcing, adapting and communicating policies around how services are created and implemented, across their lifecycle.

A successful SOA strategy depends not only on having a portfolio of quality services, but also on an adequate SOA governance framework to handle the development, deployment, operations and management of new SOA services. An effective SOA implementation approach and governance framework requires the use of sophisticated tools to align services with business objectives, ensure that users can connect to and re-use services as needed, and monitor and report on decisions and results.

What is service-oriented architecture?

SOA is an IT architectural style that prioritizes discrete services instead of a monolithic design. Services are a unit of functionality that can be accessed, executed and updated independently. Developers can write code once and apply it across disparate systems for a variety of functions.  

By using a communication protocol over a network, services can be provided to software components—and because services are only loosely coupled, changing one service does not affect others. Combining multiple services to work in conjunction creates a service mesh that provides functionality of a large application but with greater flexibility and developer efficiency.   

Why your organization needs SOA governance

SOA requires a development and governance infrastructure that is distinct from traditional computing applications that rely on monolithic applications. To design, develop, and deploy SOA-based applications, architects and administrators must consider how to: 

  • Manage a computing environment that consists of hundreds, or even thousands, of services and supporting artifacts
  • Ensure that any services and business processes supplied by third parties meet enterprise policies and standards 
  • Define processes to ensure that services are accepted into the SOA in a controlled, consistent manner 
  • Provide an environment that encourages developers to assemble applications from existing assets in the SOA, rather than building them from scratch 
  • Understand the consequences of any changes to a complex array of interdependent artifacts 

What are the benefits of SOA governance?

An effective SOA strategy enables IT organizations to interchange and evolve back-end services without disrupting the consumer applications that use them. 

By following SOA governance best practices, enterprises can deliver meaningful benefits to the business. One of the benefits of effective SOA governance is that it establishes a positive cycle of trust in the IT department’s ability to meet business needs quickly. Three main benefits include: 

  • Full utilization of services. When SOA processes are clearly established and available to developers across the organization, your business can make the most of your SOA framework. This leads to greater value creation through the speed and completeness of IT solutions.
  • Improved performance. With an SOA governance framework that monitors service performance, you can reduce the chances of encountering the wasted costs of underutilization as well as glitches that cause volume spikes. SOA governance helps you understand whether services are being used, and whether they’re being used properly. 
  • Improved security. With a full SOA governance lifecycle in place, you can define the lifecycle for your service, which helps to identify and eliminate outdated or compromised services. You can also promote consistent management and security policies to ensure your resources are standards compliant, properly secured and well monitored. These steps can help to prevent security breaches in the first place, and offer methods to detect breaches if they do occur. 

SOA governance with Software AG

For enterprises seeking a highly effective SOA implementation approach, SOA governance and API management, Software AG offers the webMethods API Management Platform. webMethods API Management Platform and its CentraSite software provide an end-to-end integrated tool chain for SOA governance and competing in the new API economy.

CentraSite is an API catalog and SOA registry/repository that promotes the re-use of assets to accelerate and guide the development of new APIs and business services. With CentraSite, developers and business analysts have one place to store, find and re-use thousands of business services and API assets. 

CentraSite enables SOA governance teams to manage the entire process of planning, designing and developing APIs and business services. CentraSite simplifies SOA governance too, by ensuring that services and APIs are built the right way and by capturing all documentation details on REST APIs. With information on assets just a click away, SOA governance administrators can make better and faster decisions about business services and APIs. SOA governance practices are aided by access to metrics that track SOA and API adoption and benefits. And with a catalog of re-usable assets, CentraSite eliminates rework by fostering re-use of existing assets. 

Comprehensive capabilities for SOA implementation and governance   

Software AG’s SOA governance solution offers a rich feature set that includes: 

  • A unified asset catalog – a central, platform-independent application for defining, describing and storing assets 
  • Policy management tools that automate life-cycle processes
  • Smart policy provisioning that automatically applies the right policies to the right assets 
  • An API portal that keeps API documents in sync to avoid inconsistencies and eliminate time-consuming manual updates 
  • Life-cycle management and versioning that guides the evolution of every service and API asset throughout the SOA life cycle
  • Search and browse features that make it easy to locate and re-use assets
  • Relationship tracking to make sense of the complex interdependencies among services
  • Power analysis to view the impact of proposed changes in a graphical and interactive view of assets and their relationships

In addition to SOA governance solutions, Software AG also provides solutions for API monetization, B2B integration and more.  

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