More than a year ago we first started hearing whispers -- actually, more like shouts -- from IBM and others about a new standard called Service Component Architecture (SCA) that would give developers a model to define interfaces, implementations and references in a way that was technology-neutral. While some developers complained about yet another standard to master, SCA has a lot of benefits, and the fact that it has been submitted to the OASIS standards body will probably be seen as good news by most.
OASIS, by the way, recently approved two new SOA-related security standards, WS-Secure Conversation to cover extended exchanges (as opposed to single messages) and WS-Trust to facilitate the exchange of security credentials among trading partners.
These developments will be well received not only within the business community but in government as well, where Federal agencies now see SOA as a practical road to interoperability.
But IT organizations should still look before they make the SOA leap. Executives from global financial giant ING are publicly complaining that vendors don't get SOA, and early adopters continue to warn that, even with SOA and Web services, you can't assume interoperability.