Thursday, January 05, 2006

SOA and the JCP

Some brief thoughts on SOA standards, which do not necessarily reflect Oracle's corporate position. I just read an interview arguing that SOA standards should be developed through the JCP. I just don't get that at all. I don't necessarily have an issue with the JCP being the organization of a private company, rather than a standards body per se. That's not the problem. It's specifically that the JCP doesn't work for SOA by design.

SOA is about integration. That means heterogenous technologies by definition. I don't know how many people have read the JSPA, but its provides the governing rules that make it virtually impossible to do anything that is not part of a Java compatible implementation. And that's exactly what you want in a SOA.

So how to develop SOA standards? There doesn't seem to be a perfect approach, but some combination of open source collaboration and inter-company specification collaboration seems to be a good start. Once there's some open implementation experience, it makes sense to bring the specification of the heterogeneous part to an open standards body both to ratify, clear up any open IP questions, and provide a basis for commercial implementations. Are there better approaches? Does the JCP have a role in one of those contexts? The truth is I don't know. On the first question, the answer may well be yes, and I'd like to hear more ideas. The one thing seems clear, right now the JCP won't be a place where SOA standards are developed from the get-go.

Cross posted from my other blog.


Mark Little said...

I agree. I'd also point out that SOA is language agnostic, so the worst place for standards would be in a body that is tied to a specific language (and this goes equally well for hosting within Microsoft, for example).


Greg Pavlik said...

Take a careful read of the JSPA:
The link dropped when I cut and paste from the Oracle blog.