SOA modeling language readied

SoaML (Service oriented architecture Modeling Language), an OMG specification tailored for SOA development, is anticipated for release probably next month, an OMG official said on Wednesday.

Goals of SoaML are to support activities of service-modeling and design fit into a model-driven development approach, according to an OMG document filed earlier this year.

“It’s an extension of the UML, the Unified Modeling Language, and it contains modeling constructs for things like contracts and service and providers and consumers, all things that you would expect if you were going to do the architectural delivery for a SOA-based project,” said Victor Harrison, a member of the OMG board of directors and director of the distinguished engineering group at Computer Sciences.

SoaML seeks consistency in terms of defining an SOA as well as provision of a consistent modeling framework, Harrison said during an interview at an OMG SOA Consortium meeting in Santa Clara, Calif.

“It’s going through finalization right now, so barring any other kind of fix-it-ups from the architecture board, it should be released next month,” said Harrison.

The specification will be published as a UML profile, meaning it can be used in any UML modeling tool. It can be extended and built upon, Harrison said. Tools vendors are expected to incorporate it in their products, he said.

An analyst lauded SoaML for not being too centered on Web services, which has sometimes been considered synonymous with SOA.

“While it would be more accurate to call this a service modeling and design language (because SOA modeling language doesn’t have particular meaning), it is good that they are not overly committing their language to Web services,” said Ron Schmelzer, senior analyst at ZapThink. “I think by now, we all realize that SOA and Web services are not at all the same thing. In this regard, I think the specification will be another step in the path to helping companies realize the important of modeling their architecture separate from modeling the underlying technology.”

Among the list of submitters of the SoaML proposal were IBM, HP and Fujitsu. The specification was developed in response to the UML Profile and Metamodel for Services RFP. UML 2.0 serves as a basis for the SoaML metamodel.

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