Service Oriented Architecture E-mail

Lightweight, Context-aware BMP Language

SOA4All concentrates on bringing IT solutions to non-technical users. In the context of lightweight process modelling a new, easy to manage modelling language is required since existing languages are too complex for non-technical users.
SOA4All will provide such language, and its associated development tools, usable by people who are not software professionals trained in management of complexity and abstraction. These language and tools should hide as much of the service composition complexity as possible whilst providing sufficient notational semantics for users to understand the unavoidable interactions between services being composed; and sufficient expressive power for the users to construct useful context-aware compositions.

Design-time Adaptation and Composition

Business processes in service-oriented environments are being automated and executed by services. These services must be adapted to particular needs in a particular context; and hence configured on a per case basis. Furthermore, various independent services have to be interlinked and composed in order to satisfy the various global process business goals. The adaptation, and even worse the composition of services is a hard problem, particularly when moving towards the heterogeneous, unreliable and open Web. Moreover, composite services are likely to be much more multifaceted, as serially executable services, or have to be re-configured and adapted for various specific uses at a higher level of complexity.
SOA4All technology will tackle with these difficulties, as it will provide tools for automatically adapting or even constructing complex services. In order to carry out in an efficient and scalable manner these activities, they will be carried out by means of knowledge-intensive configuration that will enable the instantiation of reusable parameterized patterns that will depict services.

Run-time Adaptation and Composition

In the context of services, the idea of being able to self-manage is very important due to the high dynamics of business relationships and to the continuous evolution of end users expectations and needs. In particular systems that are created by composing services offered by third parties do not have any control on the way the component services are actually offered, therefore, they should be equipped with some self-management capability that would allow them to react to the cases in which these services provide incorrect results or are unresponsive.
Thus, the systems supporting such kinds of contexts need to be able to self-adapt to various kinds of changes, depending on:

  • the specific capabilities of components services actually available,
  • the environmental conditions in which the system is being executed, and
  • the possible faults and unavailability of components services.

Systems can self-adapt before execution to account for the first issue or at runtime to tackle environmental changes and unforeseen faults. In both cases the system has to be designed to be ready for self-adaptation.

Research about service oriented architectures produced, in the last years, some frameworks that enable the development of self-adaptive service compositions supporting dynamic binding (a developer can specify, at design time, an abstract service; at run time a concrete implementation of the abstract service is dynamically selected). SOA4All will futher analyze the problem of runtime adaptation and composition giving especial importance to those aspects that depend on contextual information that can be only acquired during the execution of a service composition(e.g. time and location, user profile, device, usage conditions). SOA4All will develop a context-aware execution infrastructure able to execute those complex services that will be adaptive to environmental changes; and flexible enough to allow its context-dependent self-reconfiguration.

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