Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Presentation Aspects in a SOA Platfrom


People often think about B2B when they think of SOA middleware. However, it must be noted that, at some point, a human being will be involved with the system in some form. And hence, we have the need to present content to a user. 

For your SOA platform enabling frameworks to be complete, there needs to be some form of presentation aspect built into your platform. For example, you might need a portal for your cooperate users. You might also want another portal for your end users. If there are tools, using which, you can map the service interfaces to some user consumable user interface, that would be great.

You need presentation aspects in the SOA for monitoring. The admin or the business manager need to monitor the system, both to ensure system health as well as to gather information to help decision making. They would love to be able to have a dashboard that will give them a snapshot of the system at any given time.

Users too would be interested in dashboards. Because in a complex system, architected using SOA style principles, any given end user would need to consume multiple services.

Basically we are talking about having multiple perspectives that different stakeholders of the enterprise system might be interested in. When engineering the system to meet that need, the user interface solution nirvana would be to being able to point to services and the system being capable of generating a Google gadget like interface for the service content. Though there is no spec on this (if there was, one might have named it WS-Presentation ;) ), it is a pressing need in the enterprise.

There are tons of portal solutions out there, but how many of those can point to a service and be able to use the service interface to come up with a possible presentation of it?


SOA Governance Server

The next "big thing" in the WSO2 SOA Platform would be the Governance Server
We were projecting our Registry product as our key SOA Governance solution. However, over time, based on real worl use cases and user demand, we have done leaps and bounds of improvements to the Governance aspects of the Registry, so much improvement, that it would even be callsed Governance Server, not finalized yet though. 

Whatever it would be called, the use and value of the governance server for the SOA platform would be enourmous. 

We started our effort in the governance space with life cycle management. The new release would have features such as checklists associated with lifecycles, pre and port conditions, SLA policy validations that would make SOA admin's life easier. Developers, testers, deployers and maintainers would benefit a great deal from the life cycle features. 

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