What's the GIF? - InformationWeek

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Software // Information Management

What's the GIF?

Centralized governance for SOAs mends weaknesses.

The Achilles' heel of service-oriented architectures (SOAs) has been policy enforcement. Without a framework to govern security, service levels and other policies, developers have been hard-coding policies into the services themselves — making the services tightly coupled when the whole point of an SOA is loose coupling. Finally, a standard is emerging for run-time control: the Governance Interoperability Framework (GIF).

The GIF will make service registries much better able to support dynamic discovery of services that can be trusted. "For registries to become true clearinghouses of information about services, there has to be cooperation among registry directories, governance and life-cycle management solutions, and security products," says David Butler, VP of marketing at Systinet, which sells a services registry and developed the GIF standard. Compliance with GIF allows those infrastructure components to interoperate so that dynamically commissioned services don't violate centrally defined policies.

Several Systinet partners are creating GIF-compliant APIs and interfaces at the data-, application- and user-interface layers. Those partners include AmberPoint, Above All Software, Actional, Composite Software, DataPower, Hewlett-Packard, Layer 7 Technologies, MetaMatrix, Reactivity and Service Integrity.

Without a way to reliably govern an SOA and at the same time keep it loosely coupled, composite applications have been more expensive to maintain than they should be, and as a result they've been kept small and confined. The GIF should help businesses more fully achieve the promises of SOA agility.

Susana Schwartz

The Service Economy Gets Better Service
Rearden Commerce is breathing life into business-to-business (B2B) networks thanks to acceptance of XML and SOA. "Everyone wanted to see [B2B] take form but no one wanted to see it dominated by one company," says CEO Patrick W. Grady. Rearden's on-demand system offers more than just "the same old application hairball, hosted," Grady claims. Rearden is gaining traction with companies looking to drive out costs by disintermediating service procurement.
Could it be that life is but a stream?
Progress Software has no doubt. With RFID, sensor and signal data applications joining algorithmic trading in financial services, event stream processing (ESP) is clearly a coming technology. In April, Progress acquired ESP specialist Apama and plans to integrate it with its ObjectStore streaming event database.

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