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Subject: SOA-RA(F) reorganization

Title: SOA-RA(F) reorganization
Hi all,

After yet another reading of the SOA-RA (Foundation?) and having sat through the recent spate of meetings, I have the following say about the reorganization of the SOA-RA:

Overall, I think that the chapters and topics are sequenced in a coherent and logical manner.  Perhaps, it is because I read it too many times now.  But, I don’t think so.
Also, I understand the need to minimize the amount of work needed on the SOA-RA at this point in its development.  We need to get it released for public comment — without compromising quality and understandability, of course.
Having said this, the only thing that bothers me enough to suggest a reorganizational change is the area of Policies:

1)  Policies, in general, are depicted in document far earlier than they are finally addressed (by 40-50 pages).  Since policies — IMO — are an important ingredient in the SOA-RA, I would like to see them addressed earlier.  (My personal opinion is that policies are not mentioned anywhere near the amount that they should. For example, they are used in events, composition of services, roles, and organizations.  However, since this would involve additions to the current document, I will not push this)

2) I strongly dislike grouping the entire topic with contracts.  While policies are used for contracts, Policy is a standalone concept — which neither depends on nor is used solely with Contract.  (Even the OMG and W3C treat policies as a separate notion.)  Why is this reasonable?  Because policies are used in a variety of situations — only one of which is contracts.  By placing Policies in lock step with (and almost subordinate to) with Contracts is not appropriate, IMO.  

3) My suggestion: separate Policies and Contracts into two distinct subsections (e.g., 4.4 and 4.5).  

In short, this would provide clarity for the notion of Policy and not require much change to the current document.

All the best,


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