REVIEWER: Timothy Vibbert, SOA chief at Lockheed Martin.
BACKGROUND: Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Services (IS&GS) provides system integration and technical services to the government sector, with representation at the federal, state and local levels. Beginning in 2006 and continuing today, IS&GS has invested in a service-oriented architecture initiative (SOA-I) to establish a series of SOA common framework reference models and architectures. webMethods Infravio is one of the SOA Registry tools examined in these explorations.
HARDWARE PLATFORMS: IBM and Sun servers.
PROBLEM SOLVED: IS&GS was looking to develop a governance framework that could be utilized by its engineering organization on various federal contract programs. IS&GS was also researching registry federation among various UDDI registries. The need for governance across the full service lifecycle was also essential.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The webMethods Infravio X-Registry combines a UDDI V3 compliant registry for cataloging business services with a JAXR-compliant repository for maintaining their associated metadata and policies within a user- and machine-accessible format. Additional lifecycle governance features are used to ensure that these policies can be effectively applied across design-time, runtime and change-time environments to ensure perfect agreement between service producers and consumers. Utilizing a cookbook style that allows for easy customization, the webMethods Infravio X-Registry is used by IS&GS to continuously define, validate and implement a governance framework for various program organizations. Lockheed Martin IS&GS has utilized the webMethods Infravio X-Registry to develop an initial SOA governance framework and plans to utilize this solution for additional research into other areas of concern for our customer base.
STRENGTHS: This solution enabled IS&GS to establish and validate a governance framework/cookbook that could be applied across many different types of federal SOA contracts. This allowed us to effectively meet our customers' widely divergent needs for mission-critical performance more efficiently. A secondary benefit was that it facilitated additional research in the area of registry federation, both of homogenous and disparate solution sets, as it supported the notion of a federated environment.
WEAKNESSES: The decision to work with a startup is always a calculated trade-off for securing cutting-edge performance at the expense of some of the niceties associated with a larger, more established software vendor. For example, the Web-based user interface could benefit from some improvements in the richness of its reporting. Accessing the underlying UDDI structure and information was also somewhat cumbersome.
SELECTION CRITERIA: IS&GS needed a governance solution that allowed for the establishment of tactical-level policies throughout the service-component lifecycle. It also needed to be flexible enough to easily add policies, approvals and business rules as IS&GS required, which could be subsequently merged with other companies and organizations.
DELIVERABLES: The webMethods Infravio X-Registry Platform addressed all of these requirements as it allowed the SOA-I governance team to establish, validate and refine a common governance framework that could be utilized and reused by the various project organizations. The X-Registry Platform offered the ability to apply various types of SOA governance policies across the service component lifecycle, which can be abstracted into a product produced by the SOA-I team and given to others as a blueprint for defining governance policies that are specific to their projects.
VENDOR SUPPORT: We have confidence in webMethods Infravio. Over our two-year relationship, they've proven to have both a great technical solution and the support and partner community to help us implement the various solutions.
DOCUMENTATION: The materials provided were sufficient for utilizing the default configuration, and we were able to be up and running quickly. However, the materials were not as sufficient for utilizing one of our preferred environments, which required two days of on-site and phone support from the X-Registry Platform technical support staff.
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