Microsoft created its own world with its own language for .NET. This has created a veil that is sometimes difficult to see through. It walks its own path, and has never hyped SOA to the extent other big vendors have. its primary area of interest is additions to the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) application development framework, which underlies its application integration servers. The down-playing of SOA should not obscure the important part Microsoft has played in driving Web services. This came to mind as we spoke recently about WCF with Ian Goldsmith, Vice President, Product Management, SOA Software. We asked him about Microsoft’s role in services software.
He said: ”There are Web services. And there is SOA. Microsoft has been pretty early in adoption of Web services. Where it has not put as much energy is in enabling enterprise SOA – in enabling the infrastructure of SOA. It is content with its application development framework. Microsoft has deliberately not focused on SOA governance.” This, of course, is fine with SOA Software, which supports heterogeneous systems.
For its part, SOA Software has just released a new version of its Unified SOA governance automation tools for Microsoft’s Enterprise SOA platform. It is a way of dealing with SOA services across both Java and .NET platforms, a requirement that many of Microsoft’s enterprise customers often have. The new products manage and govern Web services on Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), BizTalk Server, and ASP.NET, offer improved automation of deployment, expanded auto-discovery of Web services.
New in the release is improved support for various WS policy standards. Moreover, deployment has been simplified. And ASP.NET artifacts are covered now.
”We help make sure the services in WCF will comply with those in the Java world,” he said.
He continued, ”WCF actually takes a pretty rigid approach to the [WS- Security Policy] standard. Some of the Java implementation are more lax.”
Goldsmith said the SOA Software tools can automatically up-level the capability of the Java-side services, or take over and downgrade the strictness of WCF services’ WS-Policy, WS-Security Policy and WS-addressing policy, if that is what a SOA governance policy calls for.