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Top Stories by Mark Little

In July 2002, BEA, IBM, and Microsoft released a trio of specifications designed to support business transactions over Web services. These specifications - BPEL4WS, WS-Transaction, and WS-Coordination - together form the bedrock for reliably choreographing Web services-based applications, providing business process management, transactional integrity, and generic coordination facilities respectively. This article introduces the underlying concepts of Web Services Coordination, and shows how a generic coordination framework can be used to provide the foundations for higher-level business processes. In future articles, we will demonstrate how coordination allows us to move up the Web services stack to encompass WS-Transaction and on to BPEL4WS. Coordination In general terms, coordination is the act of one entity (known as the coordinator) disseminating information to ... (more)

Stateful Interactions in Web Services

In July 2003 a consortium of Web services vendors released the Web services Composite Application Framework (WS-CAF) to the community. WS-CAF is comprised of three specifications that together provide a means of reliably composing individual Web services into larger aggregate applications. The cornerstone of this suite is the management of stateful interactions between Web services that is the domain of the WS-Context specification. WS-CAF was subsequently submitted to OASIS and an effort to standardize the framework is currently underway. In January 2004 a group of industry and... (more)

Introducing WS-CAF - More than just transactions

Web services have become the integration platform of choice for enterprise applications. Those applications by the very nature of their enterprise-scale components can be complex in structure, which is compounded by the need to share common data or context across business processes supported by those applications. Those processes may be very long lived, and may contain periods of inactivity, for example, where constituent services require user interactions. In response to these issues, WSCAF (Web Services Composite Application Framework) was publicly released in July 2003 after ... (more)

Introducing WS-Transaction Part 1

In July 2002, BEA, IBM, and Microsoft released a trio of specifications designed to support business transactions over Web services. These specifications, BPEL4WS, WS-Transaction, and WS-Coordination, together form the bedrock for reliably choreographing Web services-based applications, providing business process management, transactional integrity, and generic coordination facilities respectively. In our previous article (WSJ, Volume 3, issue 5), we introduced WS-Coordination, a generic coordination framework for Web services, and showed how the WS-Coordination protocol can be ... (more)

Business Transaction Protocol: Transactions for a New Age

Use of atomic transactions is a well-known technique for guaranteeing consistency in the presence of failures. The ACID properties of atomic transactions (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) ensure that even in complex business applications consistency of state is preserved. Transactions are best viewed as "short-lived" entities operating in a closely coupled environment, performing stable state changes to the system; they are less well suited for structuring "long-lived" application functions (e.g., running for hours, days, etc.) and running in a loosely coupled enviro... (more)