Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Service Contracts

A while back I wrote a blog about the WSDL, mainly about the fact that it is not quite what we need to describe the service contract. Last night we had a get-together of Oracle ACEs and Oracle ACE Directors, where we discussed a lot of topics. One of the topics was about the Service Contract.

The discussion focussed on whether or not you need to have things like binding, security and policies in a Service Contract. Soon we found out that you need to forget the WSDL when you're entering such a discussion, because it muddles the discussion.

At 1.30 this morning we quit the discussion, without having reached a consensus. However, it did clear my mind as to my opinion on this matter.

What we do need in a Service Contract is:
- Definition of the interface
- Definition of the Service (what functionality will be delivered, ie what does it do?!)
- Service quality (QoS, SLA, etc)
- Applicable policies
- Allowable bindings

However, this is about the external contract. This does NOT mean that it is all IN the service. For example: adherence to company policies is obviously a matter of importance. However, security and policies are things you should not worry about in a service, but should add to the service before deploying it. It should be decoupled, so that changes in company (security) policies do not lead to changes in the implementation of a service.

As the discussion is not finished, expect me to get back on this real soon. I urge all my readers to comment on this! Would be nice if we could come up with a definition.

3 comments:

  1. Hi Mike,
    Any update on this contract definition debate?
    Before SOAP became equated with webservices and WSDL became an oversimplification ebXML seemed to more systematically attempt to define contracts and usage agreements. I havent looked at it in a long time, any good ideas from there?
    Ruan Malan

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  2. Your blog is my stepping stone, my friend. Thanks for the heads up on this subject.
    Service Contracts

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