Joe McKendrick's recent post comments that many analysts are now putting SOA governance and SOA management tools into a single category. He cites arguments that they are in fact very different, stating that while governance is about managing the development and the life cycle of services, management is about the technical monitoring of such. I couldn’t agree more.
Lets spell it out: in simple terms SOA governance is focused mainly on the development process, while SOA management is focused on the 'running' aspects of SOA infrastructure. Management systems must ensure that that the business services in the SOA remain reliable and live up to the expectations of the business partners, customers, suppliers, internal users and regulators.
I believe people are confused by the various contexts in which the term "SOA governance is used." In the context of a product category it is indeed confusing to lump together products with very different uses and characteristics. However, if an organisation is designing a "SOA governance strategy" then tools to aid in the development life cycle of services as well as tools to allow those services to be monitored at run-time may be required. Some organisations may describe this latter capability as "runtime governance."
Developmental governance and run-time management tools are distinct but closely related. They both aid to make SOA successful. Increasingly they work together to form a link across the entire life cycle of development and production deployment, in terms of enforcing and sharing enterprise and business policy.
So, feel free to think about the governance of your SOA in holistic, wide-ranging terms. But when it comes to thinking about which products to use, remember the distinctions. The fog of confusion will only arise if you don't.
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