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SOA Repository Locates Processes

Fujitsu Computer Systems and Software AG jointly release a metadata repository that lets different divisions within an organization share service-oriented architecture-based services.

Companies looking for a registry to deposit metadata for service-oriented architecture (SOA) platforms now have access to a repository developed by Fujitsu Computer Systems Corp. and Software AG.

The two companies jointly released on Tuesday the latest version of CentraSite, a metadata repository for service-oriented architecture (SOA) platforms.

The CentraSite Enterprise Edition, now available as a standalone product, offers UDDI v3.0 search using predefined metadata models, JAXR interface with subscribe and notification capabilities, WebDAV access to the SOA repository, predefined reporting modules, and both AJAX interface and Eclipse Registry Browser.

There's also a CentraSite Community Edition that offers UDDI v3.0 search capabilities using predefined metadata and reporting modules. The repository lets different divisions within an organizations share SOA services, also known as business processes. The abstracts to those business processes are held in the registry. This allows IT developers throughout the company to find and reuse them easily, and IT platforms interact with them automatically.

"Let's say someone in the company develops a customer background check function for a loan," said Keith Swenson, vice president of research and development at Fujitsu Computer Systems. "You take the interface, the metadata about the service, and publish it in the registry. Then someone else in the company who's writing an application that needs a background check can look in the registry to see if a similar service has been published."

CentraSite was designed to integrate with Fujitsu Interstage Suite, Software AG's crossvision SOA suite, and solutions from other SOA solution providers. It's not clear whether the platform will integrate with software vendors, such as SAP AG and Oracle Corp., though Fujitsu says the two support the product.

Companies are building IT systems on SOA platforms. There are about 20 companies testing the latest version 2.1, including The Ministry of Finance of Germany, BearingPoint, and BMW subsidiary Entory.

A real-world example comes from both the banking and the insurance industry that want to build SOA into a quoting system. "They could do it the old way by manually coding the process, but they are automating the system by taking a reusable piece and exposing it as a Web service to use the same process across multiple systems," said Ray Wang, principal analyst at Forrester Research Inc. "Now, is it an end-to-end system? Maybe not, but they have a reusable piece."

A repository remains one key infrastructure piece companies will need to keep track of design and run times, said Jason Bloomberg, senior analyst at ZapThink LLC.

"Large corporations that have grown by buying-up multiple companies might want to reduce costs by sharing processes across the organization, but they have redundant or disparate IT systems," Bloomberg said. "Verizon has grown through numerous acquisitions over the years and they had enormous redundancies, the same system duplicated over and over again because some platforms came from GTE, Bell Atlantic and the list went on and on"

Bloomberg said companies need a way to identify services, so they implement them once rather than 20 times. And while most companies will begin by using a repository like CentraSite internally, they could theoretically put up a site and make it available to partners and affiliates.

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