Oracle Enterprise Repository: Only for SOA Governance?
By michael.stamback on Sep 05, 2008
A recent posting by Lucas Jellema in his AMIS Technology blog covers some of the value that the Oracle Enterprise Repository (OER) brings to SOA Governance solutions and how vendors like BEA and Oracle have evolved their governance positioning. Toward the end of his blog, Lucas points out that OER could very well be used for managing assets that may not fall under the SOA domain.
It struck me that most of what applies in terms of Governance to SOA assets, also applies to other assets in any software engineering process. Trying to manage reusable components for example or even implementing a good maintenance approach for a non-SOA application is a tremendous challenge, that has many parallels with SOA Governance. And to some extent could benefit from applying a tooling infrastructure such as provided by the Enterprise Repository…
One of the big challenges that SOA has tried to overcome for years is equating SOA to web services. In the past, governing SOA assets has been about gaining visibility and control over reusable assets to establish the notion of trust amongst consuming applications. As Lucas points out, reuse cannot occur without trust that the service you are reusing won't negatively impact your application.
Oracle believes that if you want to properly govern your SOA, you need visibility and control over the end-to-end spectrum of assets your SOA is interacting with. Afterall, SOA Governance is an extension to existing IT governance and enterprise architecture governance, so why shouldn't the same apply to the assets?
OER provides the capability to gain visibility into and track relationships of all the assets that effect your SOA. Services must interface with something on the backend, so you need visibility into what those underlying components are, whether they be legacy mainframe artifacts, underlying applications, custom code, etc. You also need visibility going up the stack, including the consumers that are utilizing those services, what policies apply, etc. Having this end-to-end visibility gives you greater ability to manage change more accurately. Afterall, change doesn't just happen at the service level. If an underlying application component changes, you need to know how it will impact everything all the way up to the consuming process of a service interfacing that application component.
Lucas is correct. As a side effect of providing this capability, you can expand the role of OER beyond just SOA Governance related issues. The same capabilities and benefits that are provided for SOA related projects can also be applied on non-SOA related projects. That is one way in which Oracle provides support for you to truly treat SOA Governance as an extension to your existing IT and EA governance programs.
Read Lucas's entire post: http://technology.amis.nl/blog/?p=3369