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Supporting SOA Governance Monday

Supporting SOA Governance Monday

August 18, 2008 Comments

Whew. What a rough weekend.

I was listening to Condi talk on Friday with a sense of relief. The Russians had invaded Georgia and she brokered a cease-fire. I was worried about friends I have there, though, when I spoke to them they didn't seem concerned. I guess it wasn't as bad as they were showing on TV. That happens a lot.

I was glad my friends were OK, but more glad for the ceasefire. I think had the Russians cut off Jeb's retreat from Florida to Texas, George would have been forced to act to save his brother. A third front on this war on terror, and this one in our own backyard! I mean, it's bad enough we can't get a good cigar because of the Russians in Cuba, but if peaches became scarce because of the Russians in Georgia, I'd volunteer for the draft. I like peaches.

I was really getting stressed, until someone at Edward's told me the Russians attacked the other Georgia.

That's pretty scary, such a simple mistake. Good thing I wasn't the guy with my finger on the missiles. And, before you say that there's no way a commander with such important responsibility would make such a dumb mistake, think very carefully about how this country is run*.

Truth is, I knew which Georgia they were talking about. But, the whole weekend, I kept thinking how funny it would be to blog as if I didn't. There are only two Georgia's... or at least there are only two I know of, but I'm sure there are more. Driving to Vermont this weekend, I drove through Cairo, Malta, and Hague... yeah, we reuse words a lot. My favorite ambiguity though was the sign that said "New York 165 miles." You see, I was in NY when I saw that sign. I knew it meant NYC, because I had the right context (and a brain). But... it would be totally understandable if someone looked at that sign and cursed the idiot that put it there.

SOA What? Here's another word with too much ambiguity around it... Governance. If you think keeping track of two Georgia's is hard, imagine trying to keep track of all the meanings behind [SOA] Governance!

Last week, Dave Linthicum expressed his frustration with vendors that start by asking, "what do you mean by governance?" Well, what else can we do? It's such a morass right now. Frankly, I think most people hear governance and think registry / repository... but I'm not going down that rat-hole right now.

In my opinion, the word Governance is devoid of meaning due to overuse (as it relates to SOA). Dave, founder of Governance Monday, has a long standing belief that it's about People and Process as much as technology. I agree but... still believe that as software companies, when we talk about governance, it's a good bet we're talking about the software bit.

Another aspect of governance was blogged about by Lori MacVittie over at F5. She points to an interesting InformationWeek article about service mediation. (That article's a good read but I'll have to save my thoughts for another post! This one's already too long.) I believe intermediaries are an important part of a SOA infrastructure as Lori says... I think intermediaries belong at the border of the cloud, where a SOA is really a set of clouds-within-a-cloud. [Discovering how those clouds relate to each other and are used in real-time is the core Actional benefit. Email me if you want a copy of our Concepts Guide that describes this.] I probably differ in opinion from Lori though in believing that the intermediary design of a SOA can incorporate BOTH hardware and software intermediaries, without any sacrifice of performance and reliability. (We here at Progress don't sell/develop a hardware based intermediary solution but I do believe they are an important part of the "right" SOA architecture. Just because we don't sell one, doesn't mean they're not important.)

Dave also tweeted that Design Time Governance is dying (I don't know if it is or not but I sure wish it would so we could focus on what's important!), though Todd Biske thinks otherwise. Todd tweeted something very important. Todd's a big Design Time Governance proponent, but says "it depends upon your goals." That's a phrase we should all live by! Todd posted his latest governance post before Governance Monday, but it's still worth reading. Actually, I'm a big metaphor fan (I learn better and express myself better through metaphors) so I really like his post.

Wow, that's a lot of referential reading! Monday's a good day for that, there are generally lots of "status meetings" on Mondays during which we can multitask. But if you want "in" on the conversation, follow me on Twitter, and check out Dave, Lori, and Todd as well.

* I feel the need to clarify. My "jokes" actually not only don't reflect the political views of Progress, but they don't necessarily reflect my own either. I'm just trying to bring some humor to an otherwise dry topic.

david bressler

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