Plan to use registry and repository tools -- such as those from Flashline, Infravio, Logic Library, Systinet, and the like -- that are good at graphically abstracting the UDDI interface. Onboard modeling tools help establish asset metadata and taxonomies that can be mapped less technically by analysts, shortening the ramp up to productivity.
Although you might be able to get by with a registry-only product (say for internal services or a small number of partner-specific targets), use of a complete registry and repository combo is required in most cases for full governance capabilities later on.
BPM is your friend
BPM (business process management) tools are playing an increasingly important role in early SOA planning.
For years, IT has lacked insight into higher-level process. And ineffective tools for business analysts have stymied efforts to sync processes back to systems. But BPM tools have evolved, becoming increasingly standards-driven -- and because an SOA should be rooted in processes, BPM has become a great starting point for bridging the top-down and bottom-up approaches that SOA demands.
When companies roll out full BPM suites, they gain cycle integration benefits down the road through automation, monitoring, and more fluid control of assets in quickly changing business climates. Thanks to the componentization of services, business analysts can more quickly remodel applications without needing to hire a full IT construction team.
Can you get by without BPM? Of course you can. Smaller deployments and those without explicit requirements for higher-level orchestration, workflow, or the involvement of direct human interaction -- that is, primarily implementing system-to-system connections -- will find BPM to be overkill. But in large enterprise scenarios where applications span divisions and corporate boundaries, the inherent capabilities of a BPM engine benefit long-term processes effectiveness and, more importantly, cut costs for ongoing adaptability.
The bottom line is that no pat methodology for SOA modeling can apply across the board. But certain best practices are clear, beginning with a commitment to formally involve all stakeholders early on to analyze business functionality and build consensus on key areas where transformation will deliver the biggest strategic impact. And if from the starting gate you employ registry and repository frameworks with built-in tools for domain analysis and governance, you will vastly reduce the risk of losing control over your SOA initiative and will reduce costs over the total lifecycle.
With a holistic perspective and a real meeting of the minds during planning, effective modeling will create a solid foundation for next phases of SOA development.