OASIS Bears Down on ‘Last Mile’ SCA Specs

Many top names in SOA -- IBM, BEA, Oracle, Progress Software and others - say it is time to develop a fuller suite of specs for Service Component Architecture (SCA). OASIS is taking up the charge by forming 6 new committees to create test plans, test cases, and scenarios for important last-mile specs. IDN takes a look.

Tags: Service Component, SCA, OASIS, Committees, Service Component Architecture, SOA, Policy Framework,

Some of SOAs top names, including IBM, BEA, Oracle and Progress Software top say its time to develop a fuller suite of specs for Service Component Architecture (SCA).

This latest step in cross-vendor support for SCA is being done under the umbrella of the OASIS international open standards consortium, which created six new SCA-focused technical committees.

SCA seeks to simplify SOA application development by defining what supporters call "a flexible model for creating business solutions using service components." The SCA model actually encompasses a wide range of technologies for service components, access methods that connect them, and policy that provides declarative qualities of service. SCA models also encompass different vendor technologies and patterns, including: (a) programming languages, (b) frameworks, (c) environments, (d) communication and service access methods; (e) and policy and/or quality-of-service expressions.

"SCA is based on the idea that business functions are provided as a series of services that can be wired together to create solutions for particular business needs. These composite applications can contain new services created specifically for the application and reuse existing business functions from existing systems," Burton Group vice president Anne Thomas Manes said in a statement about the OASIS move.

Inside the OASIS Committees
The OASIS Open Composite Services Architecture (Open CSA) Member group Section, and the resulting specifications will be offered for implementation on a royalty-free basis.

The SCA Technical Committees have committed to developing a test plan, test cases, and scenarios for each specification. "These six OASIS SCA TCs plan to address the tough 'last mile' of SOA project implementation," said James Bryce Clark, director of standards development at OASIS. "If a group of software engineers want to compose two specific services into an application using C and BPEL, for example, they'll face some challenging design choices. The SCA TCs plan to provide practical help, in the form of language bindings, a policy framework, and code patterns."

The new OASIS SCA Committees are:

  • OASIS Service Component Architecture / Assembly (SCA-Assembly) TC --

    To define core SCA composition model to simplify SOA application development
  • OASIS Service Component Architecture / Policy (SCA-Policy) TC --
    To define an SCA policy framework to simplify SOA application development
  • OASIS Service Component Architecture / Bindings (SCA-Bindings) TC --
    To standardize bindings for SCA services and references to communication protocols, technologies and frameworks
  • OASIS Service Component Architecture / BPEL (SCA-BPEL) TC --
    To specify how SCA component implementations for SOA can be written using BPEL
  • OASIS Service Component Architecture / C and C++ (SCA-C-C++) TC --
    To standardize C and C++ use within an SCA domain for SOA
  • OASIS Service Component Architecture / J (SCA-J) TC -
    To standardize Java use within an SCA domain for SOA

  • "Each of the six new OASIS committees will address a different aspect of SCA. This will allow smaller groups of members with specific expertise or interest in one area to collaborate more effectively," said Oracle's Jeff Mischkinsky, who also chairs the OASIS Open CSA Member Section Steering Committee. Mischkinsky will convene the OASIS SCA-Assembly Technical Committee (TC), which will define the core composition model. The group will work closely with the SCA-Policy TC, convened by Michael Rowley of BEA Systems, to define a policy framework for SCA as well as specific reliable messaging, security and transactions policies.

    Participation in the 6 new OASIS SCA TCs remains open to all companies, non-profit groups, governments, academic institutions, and individuals. Archives of the work will be accessible to both members and non-members, and OASIS will offer a mechanism for public comment.