Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Web Service API Management

Service-oriented Architecture (SOA) web service API operations management requires a sophisticated service management organisation which is capable of defining and sustaining service levels to its customers across the enterprise. SOA without the service management will result in greater systems fragility and chaos.

ITIL is the widely adopted framework for implementing service management practices and so it figures that it would have relevance to SOA. Under ITIL services must become managed and supportable enterprise assets. This has the following requirements for an organisation:
  • A service product/consumer model with defined, regulated, monitored and enforced service level agreements
  • Effective configuration management and the existence of a consistent, accurate, widely accessible and reportable configuration database. SOA requires a service registry with additional features not supported by traditional configuration databases. The usefulness of this registry to clients is central to SOA adoption.
  • The service desk is the human face of SOA and needs to be knowledgeable and efficient in its processing of incidents, in particular as service adoption grows and services become integral components of various business processes across the enterprise.
  • Understanding the dependencies (and the operational importance of those dependencies) between services and clients and the between the internal components of those services is crucial for effective incident, change and release management
  • Automatic verification of the quality, functional correctness, compatibility, and performance of services will greatly facilitate effective change management
  • Service implementations must share common standards, architecture and core business components. Governance will need to be put in place to ensure adherence to these standards.
  • Ownership of services and common standards and software must be clearly defined, as well as the change management process
  • Services must be deployed into a monitored, fault tolerant environment.
  • An enterprise security model is required to support single sign-on and consistent authorisation policies across the enterprise
  • Effective service component monitoring, whether infrastructural or software, is required for all the disciplines of service management. The monitoring solution must support both real-time and historical reporting to provide decision support
  • Capacity management must ensure the availability of spare capacity to support timely service adoption
  • Charging of services should be considered (either notional or hard charging), but only be implemented if it will give a clear value to the organization and if/when the environment is ready for it.
  • SOA requires a strong governance function to ensure architectural and functional consistency across services and to encourage reuse. Reuse is a strategic goal and will often be at odds with short term delivery pressures – this must be managed. Consider setting up a service review board involving parties from various business units and enterprise architecture to assist with this.