Integration of design time and runtime governance for service-oriented architecture (SOA) and public availability of the Governance Interoperability Framework (GIF) specification highlight a "comprehensive SOA governance" announcement today by Hewlett-Packard Corp.
The design time/runtime integration in the HP SOA Systinet product is based on the governance technology HP acquired along with Mercury Interactive in July 2006 and HP's own HP OpenView SOA Manager, first announced in 2005.
"With the latest release of HP SOA Systinet and SOA Manager, and with the integration between the two of them we can now deliver a complete design and runtime governance solution," said Avrami Tzur, vice president of SOA at HP Software. "That allows organizations to create governance across the business silos found in a typical IT environment, across development and production."
HP SOA Systinet brings SOA developers into the governance loop early in the design process, said Tzur, who came to HP through the acquisition of Mercury where he had developed the SOA strategy for Systinet, which Mercury had acquired in the flurry of SOA acquisitions that year.
"When you look at design time and runtime integration, we have the ability now to provide runtime policies into the system of record," he said. "That allows developers to see which policies need to be addressed in services."
Jason Bloomberg, senior analyst, ZapThink LLC., said the SOA Manager/Systinet combination "brings together design time and runtime SOA governance in a single integrated lifecycle, essentially providing closed-loop SOA governance."
The public availability of the GIF specification is the other important part of the HP governance announcement today, Bloomberg said. "The GIF news is important because it will help drive long-needed interoperability in the industry among a wide variety of SOA-related offerings."
Tzur said making GIF [not to be confused with the Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) specification for electronic images] public puts it on a path to becoming an industry standard, although it is not yet being offered to a standards body.
"We are great supporters of standards," the HP executive said. "We pushed UDDI and other Web services standards. So we are making the specification of GIF public. Anybody can now access and take a copy of the specification and if they chose go and implement it."
He noted that only the specification is public, not the implementation, which is left up to individual vendors.
"Usually what will take place is a partner will take the specification and implement it so now their SOA offering can participate in exchanging information related to SOA governance," Tzur said. "For example if you have a Web management enforcement point, you need to be able to get policies into that enforcement point. The way you do it is through communications with the Systinet registry. The same thing is true if you have an ESB or other component such as an XML gateway in the production environment."
To show growing support for the specification, HP announced new members joining the GIF "ecosystem" including: Oracle Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., Alcatel Lucent Corp., Layer 7 Inc., LogicLibrary Inc., Vordel Ltd., JackBe Corp., Nexaweb Technologies Inc., Active Endpoints Inc. and Sonoa Systems Inc. Original members of the GIF group originally announced in 2005, including DataPower, now part of IBM, as well as Actional, now part of Progress Software, and AmberPoint Inc.
Two other HP announcements today designed to make it easier of developers to work with governance are HP SOA Registry Foundation: a portable registry that provide "enabling SOA everywhere" and an Eclipse plug-in for service validation.
"The HP SOA Registry Foundation is a new product, which fits very specific use cases," Tzur said. "One of them is a developer use case where we find developers would like to have a complete SOA environment in their development environment, so they can test end-to-end or develop end-to-end. The HP SOA Registry Foundation can be embedded in the development environment, giving developers the ability to test the services they develop in the context of the full infrastructure. That allows them to do endpoint resolution and policy distribution while in the development phase."
The Eclipse plug-in makes it possible for developers to validate the Web service they are working on against enterprise policies from within their own development environment, Tzur said. "It helps them validate that what they are working on complies with the enterprise requirements. By doing so, not only do they participate earlier in the process, they can also provide higher quality services and artifacts."
HP is also beefing up its SOA consulting and education offerings, including a new partnership with Everware-CBDI Inc., which provides enterprise architecture and SOA consulting and training, said Mark LaJeunesse, HP Services SOA program director.