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The principles of a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) call for active governance of SOA-based systems at runtime to ensure the meeting of quality of service expectations. To accomplish this, organizations need runtime visibility across a heterogeneous network of services and must be able to maintain control as their networks evolve. Without adequate runtime governance, a SOA-based system is unable to deliver the desired results. In the Gartner SOA Business Case Framework, industry analyst firm Gartner recommends a policy-based approach to runtime governance. In the context of SOA, Gartner defines policy as a set of guidelines, rules, regulations, or requirements to be enforced on services. Policies capture the declarative specification of as many characteristics of the system as possible.
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