A key element in realizing the real business benefit of SOA is in specifying the service requirements in business terms. This specification represents the external view of the service and acts as the contract between the service consumer and the service provider. As such, it supports service consumption decisions by solution designers. Everware-CBDI has developed the Rich Service Specification (RSS) template and best practices as the basis for developing the service contract.
The template and best practices can be applied in a customer appropriate manner to create an effective fit-for-purpose process and deliverable. Organizations adopting our service specification approach typically achieve the following benefits:
- business-driven provisioning approach
- higher level of consistency across multiple audiences and domains
- increased flexibility and reuse resulting in increased ROI
- improved discovery and identification of available services
- support for completeness, correctness, and policy compliance
At the heart of the service concept is conformance with the principle of the "contract based" capability. Whilst many SOA principles will be optional depending upon context, the use of service contracts is likely to be required, because a well formed service is likely to be the primary enabler of the agile business. At the same time it is important to use a pragmatic level of specification detail that is appropriate to the context of use. Our practice research to date has focused on the Rich Service Specification and the Service Level Agreement. In this report we extend that guidance to cover evolution of specification artifacts across the full service life cycle, in an integrated way, to include all the involved parties.