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Don’t go with the flow : Web services composition standards exposed

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Presentation on theme: "Don’t go with the flow : Web services composition standards exposed"— Presentation transcript:

1 Don’t go with the flow : Web services composition standards exposed
W.M.P. van der Aalst Presented By – Prachi Jain

2 The Problem Many web services composition languages
Remarkable how much attention these different standards receive Fundamental issues – semantics, expressiveness and adequacy not addressed Having standards is good, but too many and most of them die before becoming mature These languages have no clear semantics PDL, XPDL, BPSS, EDOC, BPML, ebXML, BPEL4WS

3 The Goal Overcome the problems
Critically evaluate the so-called standards for web services composition i.e. Don’t go with the flow

4 The Trends 2 trends in the world of E-business
Technology push – technologies taking XML-based standards and Internet as starting point Need to improve efficiency of processes from a business perspective Need to utilize potential of Internet Technology by automating business processes across enterprise boundaries

5 Goal of Web Services Goal of web services
Exploit XML technology and Internet Integrate applications that can be published, located and invoked on the web

6 The Need for Web Services Composition Languages
Integrate business processes across enterprise boundaries Simple interactions using standard messages and protocols not enough Require long running interactions driven by explicit process model Hence the need for Web Services Composition Language

7 Web Services Composition Languages
BPEL4WS, WSFL, XLANG, WSCI and BPML Also known as Web Services Flow Languages Web Services Execution Languages Web Services Orchestration Languages Web Enabled Workflow Languages

8 Overview of Web Services Technology

9 SOAP Simple Object Access Protocol
Protocol for exchange of information In decentralized, distributed environment Using typed message exchange and remote invocation XML-based Protocol. 3 parts Envelope that defines framework for describing what is a message and how to process it Set of encoding rules for expressing instances of application defined datatypes Convention for representing Remote Procedure calls and responses

10 WSDL Web Services Description Language
XML format for describing network services based on standard messaging layer like SOAP Defines services as a collection of network endpoints or ports Abstract definition of endpoints and messages Separated from concrete network deployment or data format bindings

11 WSDL Allows reuse of abstract definitions
Messages – abstract descriptions of data being exchanged Port types – abstract collection of operations Concrete Protocol and data format specifications for a particular port type constitute reusable binding Port – Network Address + Reusable Binding Service – Collection of Ports

12 UDDI Universal Description Discovery & Integration
Set of services supporting description and discovery of Businesses, Organizations and other web service providers The web services they make available Technical interfaces which may be used to access those services Can be used to build “yellow pages” for web services

13 Web Services Composition Languages
Build directly on top of WSDL Provides and/or uses one or more WSDL services WSDL service – ports that provide operations Each operation One-way: receives a message Request-Response: receives and sends a message Solicit-Response: sends and receives a message Notification: Sends a message

14 Web Services Composition Languages
WSDL services and corresponding operations glued together to provide composed services Process model needed to glue such services Process model specifies order of execution of operations Web services composition language provides the means to specify such a process model Example – BPEL4WS – Business Process Execution Language for Web Services

15 Difference between WSDL and Composition Language
WSDL is stateless – language not aware of states in-between operations WSDL – only state notion supported is state in between sending and receiving a message in request-response or solicit-response operation Technology supporting web service composition language will have to record states more complex than simple request-response Triggered development of languages like BPEL4WS, WSFL, XLANG, etc

16 Overview of so-called standards
BPEL4WS builds on IBM’s WSFL ( Web Services Flow Language) Microsoft’s XLANG ( Web Services for Business Process Design) XLANG Block-structured language Basic control flow structures Sequence, switch – Conditional Routing While – Looping All – Parallel Routing Pick – Race Conditions based on timing or external triggers

17 Overview of so-called standards
WSFL Not limited to block structure Allows directed graphs Graphs can be nested but need to be acyclic Iteration only supported through exit conditions Activity/subprocess iterated until exit condition is met Control flow part identical to workflow language used by IBM’s MQ Series Workflow Workflow language very different from most languages Correspondence between WSFL and MQ series workflow – defined by same set of people Similarly, XLANG completely based on current Microsoft middleware solution Therefore hardly qualifies as a standard

18 Other so-called standards
Sun, BEA, SAP and Intalio introduced WSCI (Web Service Choreography Interface) Intalio initiated Business Process Management Initiative ( which developed BPML ( Business Process Markup Language) OASIS and UN/CEFACT support ebXML ( Electronic Business using eXtensible Markup Language) Abundance of overlapping standards for web services composition These competing standards without clear added value referred as Web Services Acronym Hell (WSAH)

19 Other so-called standards
Workflow Management Coalition (WfMC) released XPDL (XML Process Definition Language) Support exchange of workflow specifications between different workflow products Standards of WfMC not adopted by workflow vendors Some systems can export to XPDL None of the systems can import XPDL from another system and still produce meaningful results Still no consensus on the workflow constructs that need to be supported and their semantics

20 Comparing BPEL4WS, XLANG, WSFL, XPDL and WFM products
Development of web services composition language driven by software vendors – IBM, Microsoft, Sun, BEA, SAP and Intalio Standards often based on existing products WSFL copy of IBM’s FlowMark/MQ Series Workflow Language Standards involving multiple software vendors, often a compromise between competing viewpoints Tend to be imprecise or unnecessarily complex XPDL – imprecise standard therefore allowing vendors to have their own interpretation

21 Comparing BPEL4WS, XLANG, WSFL, XPDL and WFM products
Look for objective methods for comparing Use set of workflow patterns for comparing Patterns correspond to a routing construct often required when designing a workflow Patterns have been used for comparing about 20 workflow management systems Author shows comparison for BPEL4WS, XLANG, WSFL, XPDL and four concrete workflow management systems.

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23 Comparing BPEL4WS, XLANG, WSFL, XPDL and WFM products
First 5 patterns – basic routing constructs e.g. sequence, one can find in any language Other patterns refer to more advanced constructs not supported by most standards ‘+’ refers to direct support Construct in the language that directly supports the pattern ‘-’ refers to no direct support Does not mean that it is not possible to realize the pattern through some workaround ‘+/-’ represents feature that only partially supports a pattern

24 Observations BPEL4WS indeed combination of XLANG and WSFL
WSFL and MQ Series Workflow are identical XPDL is less expensive than BPEL4WS XPDL can be seen as Greatest Common Denominator of exisiting workflow languages rather than Least Common Multiple Relevant differences between Web Services Composition Languages and Workflow Management Systems for routing constructs FLOWer is block structured like XLANG Other 3 are graph based like WSFL and XPDL

25 Lessons Learned Well – established process modeling techniques combining expressiveness, simplicity and formal semantics exist Software industry has chosen to ignore these Hence, too many standards Driven by concrete products and/or commercial interests Users need to ignore standardization proposals that are not using well established process modeling techniques Force vendors to address real problems

26 What has been done since then ?
BPEL4WS has been renamed by the OASIS WS-BPEL technical committee to WS-BPEL Truly, Web Services Acronym Hell (WSAH)

27 Questions ?

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