Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Putting services at the heart of tomorrow’s software

27.06.2006
Service development in Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is the point where small, functional services can be linked together to achieve some larger goal, and it is the point where computing could finally deliver the productivity gains and functional flexibility that it promised for so long.

It's the crucial last link in the SOA chain and it's fraught with risks and challenges. "Improving service description, then announcing that those services are available, or again, establishing a way the services can be discovered, all are important challenges that need to be addressed," says Matteo Melideo, coordinator of the SeSCE project. "We also need to enhance service composition and offer a way to deliver and monitor services."

The primary goal of SeCSE is to create methods, tools and techniques for system integrators and service providers, and to support the cost-effective development and use of dependable services and service-centric applications.

The project secured a number of leading partners to tackle these challenges. World heavyweights like Microsoft, Computer Associates, DaimlerChrysler, Telefonica and Telecom Italia mix with academic and research partners like the CEFRIEL, University of Lancaster and the European Software Institute. It's a large, four-year project with a budget of €15.2m, €9.2m coming from IST funding.

"There were four major strands to our work. Service engineering focused on service specifications and testing; Service discovery focused on service discovery at design time, architectural time and run-time; Service-centric system engineering focused on service composition at design, architectural and run-time; and service delivery focused service delivery and monitoring," says Melideo.

The team improved semantics for service description and testing. "There are commercial facets, technical facets and testing facets to these semantic descriptions," says Melideo. "It is vital to test the service both during composition and during run-time, to ensure that the functional and non-functional requirements are met."

For service discovery, for example, the team developed a search engine. "It allows the description of a high-level business model and then searches for the best fit service for that model," says Melideo. Semantics and the search engine are an example of the broad mix of tools, protocols and methods adopted by the group to develop a service development platform.

But the heart of the platform is Service centric system engineering. "It's the core of our work. All the other elements are vital too, because without discovery or description, for example, service centric system engineering wouldn't be possible,” says Melideo. “But it is here that all the work comes together and actually achieves the overall goal."

The project's method provides architecture styles for service centric systems. These are overall outlines indicating how particular services are completed. The Service Composition Tool selects the individual 'best fit' services. Dynamic binding and negotiation allows the service to be enabled at run-time, or when the user requests it.

SeCSE is now halfway through its lifetime and it has a demonstrator of its service composition platform. Combining SMS and GPS services, project partner Telecom Italia will show how a commuter's schedule can be updated to take account of a traffic jam, for example. "If the driver is going to be late for a meeting because of traffic, for example, the service can alert his or her assistant who changes the schedule and re-arranges any meetings. Then an SMS message is sent to the driver's mobile phone providing a confirmation of the new schedule," says Melideo.

Another IST project, the Adaptive Services Grid (ASG) adapts business workflow and service composition techniques to the SOA model. The key features of an ASG-conformant platform are seamless integration of heterogeneous external services, on-demand creation of service compositions and reliable service provision with assured quality of service. Dr Dominik Kuropka, scientific coordinator, says this is very challenging, because the SOA model involves many different parties, which either consume or provide services. This usually leads to major issues when it comes to interoperability. Standardisation of protocols and service specifications up to the semantic level are the solution, he believes.

ASG uses semantic service descriptions to match and, if necessary, compose relevant services to meet a given semantic request. It also monitors the service enactment and it performs compensation activities to handle failures, for example, by finding alternative services or by re-composing the whole workflow.

The team successfully showed that, on their platform, services could autonomously combine functions to achieve some overall goal. But more work needs to be done. "We need better and more mature semantic tools. Semantic matching of service descriptions, and the composition and planning of workflows depends on the availability, stability and reliability of advanced reasoners," says Dr Kuropka.

"A reasoner is a software tool that can derive new facts from a set of given formally annotated facts,” he explains. “Available reasoners either lack the expressiveness power or maturity. The latter one is usually reflected by the absence of stability, reliability, transactional behaviour, support for parallel access or simply persistency of data. It would be useful to combine and integrate reasoners with mature database technology and approaches to open these tools for business."

Still, it's an exciting result and it hints at the real potential for SOA once the service development and application problems are solved. "The integration of software systems is one of the most time and cost-intensive tasks in the application of information technology. At the moment only humans are able to create a bridge between the functionality and structures of two systems. Semantic service provision platforms like ASG are starting to close this gap. They open new fields for automation and have a high potential for time and cost reductions," concludes Dr Kuropka.

Source: Based on information from ASG and SeSCE

Jernett Karensen | alfa
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/
http://istresults.cordis.europa.eu/index.cfm/section/news/tpl/article/BrowsingType/Features/ID/82494

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Cutting edge research for the industries of tomorrow – DFKI and NICT expand cooperation
21.03.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

nachricht Molecular motor-powered biocomputers
20.03.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Northern oceans pumped CO2 into the atmosphere

27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Big data approach to predict protein structure

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>