Real-world repositories

The Rodney Dangerfield of Web services standards is clearly Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration. UDDI don't get no respect. Its original conception -- a global e-marketplace for services -- looks, for now at least, like a dot-com-era fantasy. Inside enterprises it does serve as a convenient place to catalog services. And the more extensible information model in version 3 of the standard has raised hopes that UDDI may yet prove to be the framework on which we'll hang operational and policy controls.

Maybe so, but we'll still need to account for how people actually describe, discover, and integrate services. [Full story at]

There are a couple of panels at InfoWorld's upcoming SOA Executive Forum in which I plan to explore the issues raised in this column. One of them will focus on the evolving role of the services repository which, lately, is becoming a very loud drumbeat indeed. It seems I can hardly turn around these days without running into someone who wants to tell me about their new repository-based solution for end-to-end SOA governance. (Admittedly I lead a strange existence...)

What to store in a services repository, how to structure it, and how to enable (or coerce) people to use it are all questions that should provoke lively discussion.

On another panel, which will consider the services infrastructure from the developer's perspective, one of the questions I'll want to address is how to bridge the gap between the artifacts managed by software developers in CVS repositories and those managed at a higher elevation in services repositories.

All that notwithstanding, the point of this week's column is that description, discovery, and integration are human activities. They need to be governed, but also powerfully enabled by freeform information management strategies -- including blogging and search. So we had better make sure we can connect our services repositories with our real-world repositories in easy and natural ways.

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