What is SOA Governance? - Model, Tools & Best Practices

Instructor: Lyna Griffin

Lyna has tutored undergraduate Information Management Systems and Database Development. She has a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and a Masters degree in Information Technology.

In this lesson, we will learn about the role governance plays in service-oriented architecture (SOA). We will examine a typical model to show the different aspects of managing the SOA and look into some tools and the industry's best practices.

Service Oriented Architecture Governance

Service-oriented architecture involves the organization of components in a system according to the services they offer. These services are varied business logics that have been packaged as complete and platform independent solutions. These services are available to clients and users to use and re-use. One of the most important aspects of the SOA environment is the ability for these services to be easily accessible, discoverable, and understandable. This is where the essence of SOA governance comes in. SOA governance is the processes and methods that supervise or manage the development, implementation, and execution of the services in the SOA, in compliance with standard practices and regulations.

The SOA Governance Model

SOA governance model activities are typically two-fold: services design activities and operational activities.

Let's examine the model in Figure 1 which depicts these activities.


  • People: This involves managing people by detailing the roles and responsibilities in the various services and identifying process owners.
  • Finance: The processes involved in financing service development, levying, and usage of various fees as well as services lifecycle funding.
  • Portfolios: Instruments concerning present and past projects and services and the management of legacy apps.
  • Project execution: This includes activities in the general life cycle of the service, service ownership, and any shared relating components.
  • Operations: Distinct service levels are formulated, policies are enforced and control mechanisms in place to ensure compliance standards are being met and implemented
  • Technology: This involves technical strategic planning, details of platforms utilized, and the formulation of services employed.
  • Information: Data sources, ownership, and operating standards are detailed. Data quality standards are enforced.
  • Architecture: Standards blueprints and the overall architecture of the SOA are detailed facilitating the building of better and faster services.

SOA Tools

The solid foundation of any successful SOA lies in the principles of quality, management, and governance. The tools employed in SOA, therefore, facilitate the establishment of these principles. These, in turn, build better apps and improve performance and troubleshooting. The demands of the system must be properly realized.

SOA can be complex systems with:

  • the ability for resources and services to be re-used
  • application integration
  • a business concept agile enough to quickly adapt, change or respond to their changing environments
  • the flexibility of the infrastructure to accommodate this

These SOA goals demand appropriate tools that must be employed from inception to final deployment. Examples of such available tools include:

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