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No matter what I do, I never seem to be able to create an effective filing system for myself. Whether I'm reading a book, surfing the Web, or browsing the newspaper, I'm constantly coming across items of interest that I'd love to be able to file away and reference again in the future. Problem is, whenever I try to do that, I end up with either a manila folder full of torn-out clippings, Post-it Notes, and scribbles that are too hard to decipher, or I have piles of stuff to be filed for later. Either way, identifying, categorizing, filing, searching and accessing important information is somehow a task that seems to elude my best efforts.

Luckily, I'm not implementing an SOA system around my office or house. Because if I did, such haphazard approaches would doom it to failure. In fact, that's why registries are so important to a solid SOA implementation. They help organizations achieve one of the key goals of any SOA system: reuse. At their most basic, SOA registries provide a standardized way to store, search and retrieve information on services. Essentially it's a dynamic catalog of information on SOA services, typically building on standards such as UDDI. SOA registries are also an important component for facilitating SOA governance.

In fact, I've spent a lot of time lately talking to different organizations that are implementing SOA and one of the things that I've consistently heard is how really critical good SOA registries and policies are for a successful SOA deployment.

Let's take a closer look at an example of how one company uses the registry. A typical company would put all their design artifacts, all the development artifacts and everything else related to their SOA implementation into the SOA registry, so that when another group comes along looking for a service that exposes a specific capability (perhaps, if it's an insurance company it might be a service that exposes claims data or policy data), they can search the repository and find all the services that are in production. Once they've identified them, they can examine the details of the services and the service contract information via the repository.

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