Service-oriented architecture (SOA) standards

IBM standards

Service-oriented architecture (SOA) has been a transformational technology used by enterprises to drive business advantages including agility, reduced cost, improved time to market and competitive advantage. This article highlights how standards are important for SOA solutions enhancing customer results and enabling interoperability.


Heather Kreger (, Destinguished Engineer, CTO International Standards, IBM

Heather Kreger is IBM’s CTO of International Standards and lead architect for SOA Standards in Software Group. She has 15 years of standards experience and has led the development of standards for SOA, Cloud, Web services, Management and Java in ISO/IEC, W3C, OASIS, DMTF, and The Open Group. Heather is the author of numerous articles, specifications, “Java and JMX, Building Manageable Systems” book, and editor of 'Navigating the SOA Open Standards Landscape Around Architecture'.

Vince Brunssen (, Senior Software Engineer, IBM

Vince Brunssen is a Senior Software Engineer at IBM working in the Standards Organization. He is currently leading efforts in OASIS to standardize SOA Repository Artifact Model and Protocol (S-RAMP). He is also a contributor to SOA standards efforts in The Open Group.

17 January 2012

Also available in Chinese Russian Japanese


Significant progress has been made both on technology and architecture standards. Technology standards focused on middleware products enable interoperability and portability while SOA architecture standards provide guidance to customers as they design and deploy SOA solutions with industry validated, vendor neutral methodologies, taxonomies and terminology.

As companies embrace SOA to create flexible, reusable assets for enabling end to end business solutions the need for SOA standards has become even more evident. There are four very important SOA architecture standards from The Open Group that provide the basis for business to create their SOA solutions. They are:

  1. The SOA Reference Architecture
  2. Open Service Integration Maturity Model (OSIMM)
  3. SOA Governance
  4. SOA Ontology

The SOA Reference Architecture

The Open Group SOA Reference Architecture (SOA RA) standard provides guidelines and options for making architectural, design, and implementation decisions in the architecture of service oriented solutions, including the architecture of cloud solutions. The goal of the SOA Reference Architecture standard is to provide a blueprint for creating and evaluating architecture. Additionally, it provides insights, patterns and the building blocks for integrating fundamental elements of an SOA into a solution or enterprise architecture.

Open Service Integration Maturity Model

The Open Group Service Integration Maturity Model (OSIMM) standard (and International Standard) gives organizations a method to assess their use of services and develop a roadmap for achieving their business goals with SOA. Adoption scenarios for SOA tend to vary considerably, especially when organizations lack a clear roadmap; the vision for how to proceed on their path to SOA adoption. The SOA journey does not start and end with a single project. As an increasing number of organizations continue to incorporate the use of service orientation as the foundation of their IT strategy, it will become increasingly important for them to assess their current state against several dimensions (from the business down to infrastructure) and identify ways to maximize business benefits from their SOA journey.

SOA Governance

The SOA Governance Framework has been standardized by The Open Group as a result of collaboration with the industry on IBM’s SOA governance method. It defines governance to be a means establishing and enforcing how people and solutions work together to achieve organizational objectives. Governance helps to ensure that organizations build the right services, in the right way, at the right time, and then manage and reuse those services effectively. SOA governance does this by overseeing the processes of proactively identifying, assessing, building and managing high-value business services and solutions — those that provide the greatest return on investment. This means creating service reuse and providing agility in the ability to manage the business and IT.

Table 1. Table 1. Get the specifications and related material
DescriptionDateAccess Method
The Open Group SOA Reference Architecture (SOA RA) Standard

IBMs advantage in SOA Reference Architectures
CurrentHTTP Web Page
OSIMM V2 Standard

IBMs advantage in Open Service Integration and Maturity Model (OSIMM)
November 4, 2011HTTP Web Page
SOA Governance Framework Standard

IBMs advantage in SOA Governance Framework
August 20, 2009HTTP Web Page
SOA Ontology Standard

An overview of the SOA Ontology
October 2010HTTP Web Page



developerWorks: Sign in

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

Need an IBM ID?
Forgot your IBM ID?

Forgot your password?
Change your password

By clicking Submit, you agree to the developerWorks terms of use.


The first time you sign into developerWorks, a profile is created for you. Information in your profile (your name, country/region, and company name) is displayed to the public and will accompany any content you post, unless you opt to hide your company name. You may update your IBM account at any time.

All information submitted is secure.

Choose your display name

The first time you sign in to developerWorks, a profile is created for you, so you need to choose a display name. Your display name accompanies the content you post on developerWorks.

Please choose a display name between 3-31 characters. Your display name must be unique in the developerWorks community and should not be your email address for privacy reasons.

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

(Must be between 3 – 31 characters.)

By clicking Submit, you agree to the developerWorks terms of use.


All information submitted is secure.

Dig deeper into SOA and web services on developerWorks

Zone=SOA and web services
ArticleTitle=Service-oriented architecture (SOA) standards