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Microservices Expo: Article

The Evolution of SOA and Cloud Computing

SOA Gateway Technology

SOA at Cloud Expo

For many years SOA Governance was the industry buzzword that virtually every company employed to indicate that they played in the SOA arena. The term "SOA Governance" was used to describe everything from design time management of test and design artifacts, monitoring, enforcement, UDDI registry storage, SLA expectations, etc. Many of the industry analysts latched onto UDDI as the central technology that would drive the governance initiatives.

The reality of successful SOA deployment turned out to be a different story. Successful SOA was measured on a project by project basis. Feedback from the CIO and CFO level as to the benefits of each project then reinforced the technology decision to invest further in SOA. It is the individual advantages first that lead to the higher level advantages later of investing in SOA. Due to the fractured nature of SOA deployments, it began to become a technology and architecture of multiple domains within an organization. Teams that each were able to show success of SOA did not do so in concert with each other.



That all changed once the adoption of SOA gateway technology began to take hold. SOA Gateways allow for the runtime governance of services and transactions. This in turn provides the means to aggregate the services of an enterprise in one consolidated location and centrally enforce reusable policies with regard to access control, security, and monitoring. This technology has led the way to the recognition of SOA as a true enterprise ROI optimization investment. As a result, the SOA Gateway has now also become what analysts had envisioned for UDDI in the early phases of SOA, which is the central place by which to manage, enforce, and monitor (a.k.a. govern) services and transactions.

Now we come to the age of cloud computing which is the new buzz phrase that has all but replaced "SOA Governance" in blogs, press releases, analysis coverage, and news cycles. This is the next frontier, the new promise of technology. Let's be clear, cloud computing has potential and real promise as a game-changing technology paradigm, but the actual adoption and recognition of this outcome will follow the same path as SOA did to get there.


Consider that SOA as a concept has been around for many years. Software as a service is not a new concept, but the open nature of services extended this concept to SOA. Cloud computing extends this concept further by providing dynamic SaS as lower cost, on-demand services. While the notion is easy to recognize in it's simplicity and elegance, it becomes a little more difficult to map to actual enterprise business use-cases.

Enter the SOA Gateway. This technology has become the central governance broker for transactions among clients and services. By that nature, the SOA gateway already abstracts the client from the service. This abstraction lends itself perfectly to the adoption of cloud based services that can extend the capacity and computing requirements on both sides of the transaction.

The success of Cloud Computing for enterprise transactions will depend on solving the core business concerns of reliability, security, access control, and accountability. It is not a coincidence that these topics happen also to be the core feature set of the SOA gateway industry.

Just as protocol firewalls and web application firewalls paved the way to the adoption of the internet for business communication, SOA Gateways will pave the way to the adoption of cloud computing for the next generation of business communication.

More Stories By Jason Macy

Jason Macy is the CTO at Crosscheck Networks responsible for implementation and product strategy of the SOA Web Services based technologies. As co-founder of Crosscheck Networks, Jason has pioneered the field of web service testing and simulation with over 40,000 product installation worldwide. Jason previously served as VP Engineering for the wholly-owned subsidiary Forum Systems where he is responsible for the software development lifecycle of the industry's only FIPS certified hardware security gateway for SOA web services. Before moving into the XML web services realm, Jason worked as the lead architect for Raytheon responsible for testing and successful commissioning of the Air Traffic Control system at Schipol Airport in Amsterdam, Holland. Jason has extensive experience in XML, Web Services, Networking, and Security and and provides education and training of SOA web services implementation, testing, and security including speaking engagements at industry conferences such as Gartner and StarEAST. Jason holds dual-degrees in both Computer Science and Computer Engineering.

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