Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"Point 'n' Click" SOA Governance with WSO2 Gadgets

“The processes that an enterprise puts in place to ensure that things are done ... in accordance with best practices, architectural principles, government regulations, laws, and other determining factors. SOA governance refers to the processes used to govern adoption and implementation of SOA.” - Anne Thomas Manes

"Ensuring and validating that assets and artifacts within the architecture are acting as expected and maintaining a certain level of quality" - Gartner

That concisely sums up what most would expect from SOA Governance. It's obvious that one of the most important parts (if not the most important) of any type of Governance, SOA or otherwise, is monitoring. Making sure that everything works according to plan. Raising alerts when things deviate from norms. Let's take a real world scenario.

Imagine driving your car. You expect the car to behave in a certain way. But not all of us are Mechanics. Some people I know don't want to look under the hood at all. Most of us like to leave mechanical meddling to a professional. This doesn't mean that we don't want to feel safe and rest assured that everything works perfectly. That's why there's a thing called a Dashboard in any vehicle. At a glance, this faithful tool tells me what the water temperature is in my Radiator, how much fuel I have in my tank and even alerts me when I'm not wearing the seat belt or when the engine needs to be checked by a Mechanic. If you are an enthusiast, you would probably extend the manufacturer's dashboard with your own gadgets, from gear shift point indicators to Speed Gun detectors (..ahem), the possibilities are endless.

We thought of adopting a similar presentation strategy for our Governance and BAM solutions. From the next release, the WSO2 Governance Registry will ship with a Dashboard along with a set of Gadgets (or Dials) showing you, at a glance, what's going on under the hood. Being an Open Source product, we also made sure that our Dashboard and Gadgets can be easily extended by users. That's why WSO2 Gadgets adhere to the Google Gadget Specification. Now you don't have to be limited by the bunch of Gadgets we ship with our Dashboard. If you know HTML you can write your own or you can add Gadgets from places such as iGoogle.