There has been a coordinated effort to begin harmonizing TOG, OASIS and OMG SOA standards to reduce confusion and fragmentation in the marketplace. That harmonization has taken two forms: 1) positioning the types of standards (reference models, ontologies, reference architectures and metamodels) relative to each other along with some guidance about how to use the different standards and 2) starting from where the standards are aligned, an agreement to explore future collaboration in the context of each organizations process to further align the standards by reducing the gaps, overlaps and accidental inconsistencies.
A particular SOA alignment issue that we have struggled with for some time is the use of the term Service. Part of the common agreement that appears to exist around the standards is that there are four fundamental things about a "service" that have to be defined in an SOA:
1. A definition of what the service is, what interfaces are provided and required, the operations, their preconditions, post conditions, service data parameters, and any protocols for using the operations. In SoaML, this is defined by a combination of the ServiceContract and ServiceInterface along with Interface, Operation and other things from UML.
2. Who provides and consumes the service. This is Participant in SoaML.
3. What services the participants provide and consume. These are the ServicePoints and RequestPoints in SoaML, typed by ServiceInterfaces.
4. How the services are actually carried out. These are the ownedBehaviors or parts (through delegation) of a Participant that provide methods for the service operations, perhaps invoking service operations through request points in order to perform the service.
The term Service is used more or less consistently across the OASIS RM, TOG SOA Ontology and TOG SOA RA. The SoaML ServicePoint and RequestPoint also align well with the use of the term Service in these other standards. ServicePoint and RequestPoint should be renamed to Service and Request to simplify SoaML, better align with these other standards, and better highlight the key component of SOA.