GCN Insider | Governing the governors

TRENDS & TECHNOLOGIES that affect the way government does IT

For those of you who've been studying service-oriented architectures, you've no doubt heard about the importance of governance. Governance is basically setting performance policies to ensure that a service can execute in some specified timeframe and with a degree of reliability.

The problem with this approach is that one program from one vendor may set the policy, but another program from another vendor may actually execute the service. There's no guarantee the two will speak the same policy language.

To help out, registry and repository provider Infravio Inc. of Cupertino, Calif., formed a coalition of 15 vendors, called SOA Link, that will guarantee the policies produced in one member's software will be understood by another's run-time software. The idea is to ensure that the 'policies asserted are equal to the policies enforced,' said Miko Matsumura, vice president of marketing for Infravio. The group will not work out a set of shared application programming interfaces, but rather customize their products to work with the other members' offerings. Members include AmberPoint Inc., NetIQ Corp. and WebMethods Inc.

At least one agency is looking seriously at governance trends. The Defense Information Systems Agency is investigating ways of using an SOA approach for its Net-Centric Enterprise Services. As a result, DISA is deploying governance software from WebLayers Inc. of Cambridge, Mass., according to Gregg Bjork, senior vice president at the company. 'We'll be governing the implementation of the different Java and .NET components. We have policies established to govern the actual interfaces ... and we will be sharing policy with the run-time management system as well.'

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