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Practices from “SOA Principles of Service Design” by Thomas Erl

“SOA Principles of Service Design” by Thomas Erl is an encyclopedia of service design principles needed to build SOA solutions. This article contains three supporting practices taken from the book: Service Profiles, Vocabularies, and Organizational Roles.

Download: SOA Principles of Service Design, Chapter 15 - Supporting Practices

In the early phase of documenting services, it is useful to use a common template or a form to collect similar meta-data from all the services. This document represents a service profile. Such a profile can be created by the service custodians early on during the analysis phase, and it is updated later when the service goes through various changes. Some companies prefer to enter the content of the profile into the service registry when the service is deployed. The author goes in great detail explaining what the profile might contain.

Different teams may develop services using different conventions possibly leading to confusion. A common vocabulary helps understanding better what each team is doing. The author suggests standardizing the following vocabularies, also offering a good set of terms to start with:

  • Service-Oriented Computing Terms
  • Service Classification Terms
  • Design Principle and Characteristic Types, Categories, Labels
  • Design Principle Application Levels
  • Service Profile Keywords

IT positions in an organization change in time. Some people leave, others come in. New roles may be created when needed. A list of organizational roles, with clear specifications for each one, creates a better picture of what everybody is supposed to do and how they relate to each other. The author presents a set of roles associated with service-oriented design principles:

  • Service Analyst
  • Service Architect
  • Service Custodian
  • Schema Custodian
  • Policy Custodian
  • Service Registry Custodian
  • Technical Communications Specialist
  • Enterprise Architect
  • Enterprise Design Standards Custodian (and Auditor)

The author gives a description of each role mentioning the principles associated with it. For example, the Service Analyst role is associated with Service Reusability, Service Autonomy, Service Discoverability.

This chapter is an excerpt from the book SOA: Principles of Service Design, authored by Thomas Erl, published July 2007 by Prentice Hall Professional as part of The Prentice Hall Service-Oriented Computing Series from Thomas Erl, ISBN 0132344823, Copyright 2008 SOA Systems Inc. For more info, please visit or

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