Three SOA Implementations, Three Views of Standards

Loraine Lawson

OK, so you've decided it's time to shift to service oriented architecture. Everybody's doing it -- so why not?


The first question in your mind -- besides "What is this going to cost me?" -- is about standards. You want to make sure you're on the same page as everybody else with standards, because experience has taught you that without standards, you'll soon have an integration nightmare.


The problem is, there really aren't "right" standards with SOA and Web services -- yet. Sure, there are plans to solidify on SOA standards. But thus far, you're on your own, and that's pretty overwhelming, considering there are 115 standards for SOA and Web services at Forrester Research's last count.


Now what do you do?


Take a deep breath. You don't have to axe your SOA projects, you just need to do a little preventative planning, according to a recent feature article published in TechWorld.


What's great about this article is it shares how three very different companies addressed the SOA standards problem to best suit their needs.


First up: Hong Zhang from General Motors. Zhang is GM's director and chief architect of IT Architectures and Standards. GM's first SOA project started in 2000, so Zhang's had lots of time to think about this standards issue. Zhang must be an optimistic fella, because where others see frustration, he sees a good sign because it means more software companies are adopting SOA. Obviously, GM took a more aggressive approach with SOA, so Zhang offers a veteran's perspective.


TechWorld also interviewed tech leaders at TD Banknorth, a banking company, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Perfomring Arts in Washington, D.C.


The bank is adopting SOA as a framework for Web services, with the end goal being application integration. TD Banknorth took a conservative approach to standards, using only standards adopted by market leaders and key standards organizations.


The JFK Center for the Performing Arts is a mid-sized organization, and it's resolving the standards issue with middleware.


You'll also find a list of standards considered, well, standard, as well as a list of SOA and Web services standards to watch.

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