Daily Archives: November 30, 2005

Development Model for Services

Today we are very happy to participate in the announcement of the Service Component Architecture (SCA).
I among many others have written on the subject of contract first development for services, and the importance of being able to design first and deploy later. SCA defines a programming and deployment model to directly address this requirement.
Our interest in this is related to the language independent nature of SCA (we provide Java and C++ implementations of our runtime), in the ability of our customers to obtain the “right” kind and size of infrastructure for SOA, and in the ability of tools to map easily and correctly to multiple SOA runtimes.
IONA has a unique, industry-leading microkernel-based, plugabble runtime specifically designed for SOA based on Web services. WSDL is the design metaphor we support, and through configuration changes we support WSDL mapping to multiple communication transport protocols and data formats.
We are developing an open source version, and leading a tools project at Eclipse. So we are very pleased to be part of SCA, since it’s annotation-based approach promises to help bridge the independent tooling and heterogenous runtime worlds.
Until now, other vendors have tended to focus on adapting existing runtimes, such as J2EE and EAI architectures, rather than developing new infrastructure from the ground up for SOA. Now this is changing, and the good news is that it is changing through industry cooperation.
I expect significant improvements for developers and SOA customers since SCA is aimed at making it easier to concentrate on the service definition rather than on the coding it often takes to map a service description to executable code.
To put this another way, I see a lot of criticism today of WSDL and Web services tools because they tend to be too tightly tied to existing object models and languages. SCA takes us in a better direction, providing designs, metadata, and configuration based deployment specifically for SOA infrastructure.