Consumer Contract Provisioning

The idea of a consumer contract for SOA closely models the idea of a business contract. It defines the terms of a relationship between a consumer, or group of consumers, and a service, or set of services. These terms should include:

  • The policies the consumer(s) agree to comply with
  • The access rights the service(s) will provide the consumer(s)
  • The service levels the provider commits to delivering to the consumer(s)
  • Any mediation the provider(s) and consumer(s) agree to and require

The SOA Governance solution has two important roles to play in the contract process:

  • Contract negotiation – the Governance solution should provide a workflow model allowing potential consumers to interact with service providers to request and negotiate access to, and specific service levels for, a service or set of services.
  • Contract enforcement – the Governance solution should enforce the contract at run-time. It should seamlessly ensure that the provider meets agreed upon service levels, that any required mediations are delivered, that the consumer(s) are complying with required policies and that the access rights and times are enforced and complied with.

Akana’s Policy Manager provides a flexible contract negotiation workflow process that allows a potential consumer to request access to a service and negotiate SLAs, policies, and access rights.

Service Manager enforces contracts to ensure that consumers without a contract cannot access a service, and monitor, manage, and report on contract terms, including SLAs, for each consumer.

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