Tuesday, February 16, 2010

SOA Governance and AmberPoint

The tools and skill sets required in designing a SOA based system, are quite different from maintaining the same system once it is operational. This is different from traditional systems where the skills and tools to develop and maintain an application remain the same.

A SOA based system interacts with multiple applications and crosses multiple middle ware platforms. Tracing a transaction from source to destination is complicated. It is especially opaque when a transaction does not complete, and it needs to be traced to the point of failure.

Embedding "hooks" within the SOA code to help troubleshoot transactions is one approach, albeit expensive in terms of coding and maintenance. Several error handling frameworks have been developed to overcome this fundamental complexity of a SOA-based system.

Oracle's acquisition of AmberPoint is a good step forward in providing a comprehensive tool based approach to SOA Governance. It would be ideal if the tool is left as a stand-alone option without getting embedded into the Oracle Enterprise Manager product suite. A good UI with a solid set of well documented API's would go a long way in reducing the maintenance overhead if an operational SOA system.

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