Role of Service Registries in SOA Increasing in Importance
Registries did not stop there; they were complemented with a repository as it became clear that service metadata needed to be stored in a consistent way and version controlled (Schemas, WSDLs, …). ebXML had actually had the foresight to create a combined specification for a registry and repository way back in 2001.
With the growth of the ESB market, registries supported service end point look ups at run time. This capability became a widely used pattern, the mediation pattern, which can help isolate service consumers from the deployment of new versions of a service. It can also be used in combination with some business rules to decide the most appropriate end point to render the service for a particular request and consumer. The possibilities of this pattern are endless and coupled with a monitoring infrastructure it can also help you enforce service level agreements (SLA) either from a load balancing perspective or based on specific business requirements.
In parallel, the notion of “Governance” emerged. If we want to build services that can be reused, well, they have to be designed, funded and operated in such a way that other consumers would want to reuse them. Infravio and Systinet were amongst the first ones to offer this capability. At this point the market matured and innovators were acquired (Systinet is now part of HP, FlashLine is part of BEA and Infravio part of Software AG) while new products were developed (SOA Software) with an increased focus on SLAs. Registry became so strategic that some large infrastructure vendors such as IBM, and now SAP, chose to develop their own registry and integrate it tightly with their tools and infrastructure. We can expect that Microsoft and Oracle will follow.
Susanne Rothaug, product manager at SAP, details today in her blog the capabilities of this new registry. SAP pushes one more time the boundaries of registries providing a single design environment that links business architecture with service designers and service consumers to better support the alignment between IT and the business.
With this new direction, we can expect the service registry to become the central information system where all the enterprise metadata is stored while supporting and federating business architecture, enterprise architecture and solution architecture. The action is just beginning!