Standards body OASIS is trying to streamline the development of a common approach to service oriented architecture with the launch of six new technical committees.
The OASIS effort is centered on advancing Service Component Architecture (SCA) specifications. SCA is an industry-backed initiative featuring a model for building business solutions using service components. Highlighted are technologies for service components, access methods, and policy to provide declarative qualities of service.
The work of the six committees will be organised within the OASIS Open Composite Services Architecture Member Section; the resulting specifications will be offered royalty-free. Each of the six committees will address a different aspect of SCA, to allow smaller groups or members with specific expertise or interests to collaborate more effectively, according to OASIS.
At first glance, forming six committees might sound like OASIS is adding complexity and not offering simplicity. But the move makes sense, according to OASIS representative Carol Geyer.
"They're simplifying something very complex -- and something that's made up of very distinct components. They need BPEL experts to work on the BPEL part, Java experts to work on the Java part, etc.," Geyer said.
"Trying to put people with such different skill sets and interests into one committee - and get quorums for meetings and approvals on drafts - would slow things down. I think we'll see results much faster with six groups working in parallel."
"These six OASIS SCA TCs plan to address the tough 'last mile' of SOA project implementation," said James Bryce Clark, director of standards development at OASIS, in a statement released by the organisation.
"If a group of software engineers wants to compose two specific services into an application using C and BPEL, for example, they'll face some challenging design choices. The SCA TCs plan to provide practical help, in the form of language bindings, a policy framework, and code patterns."
The six technical committees include:
- SCA-Assembly, to define a core composition model.
- SCA-Policy, to define a policy framework for SCA and specific reliable messaging, security, and transaction policies.
- SCA-Bindings, to standardise bindings for SCA services and references to communications protocols.
- SCA-BPEL, specifying how SCA component implementations can be written using Web Services Business Process Execution Language.
- SCA-C-C++, to develop specifications that standardise the use of C and C++ technologies.
- SCA-J, developing specifications that standardise use of Java technologies.
Representatives from companies such as Oracle, IBM, and BEA Systems are collaborating with the committees. Participation in the committees is open to all companies, non-profit groups, governments, and others.