Leveraging service-oriented business applications to a rigorous rule-centric dynamic behavioural architecture.
Today’s market competitiveness and globalisation are putting pressure on organisations to join their efforts, to focus more on cooperation and interaction and to add value to their businesses. That is, most information systems supporting these cross-organisations are characterised as service-oriented business applications, where all the emphasis is put on inter-service interactions rather than intra-service computations. Unfortunately for the development of such inter-organisational service-oriented business systems, current service technology proposes only ad-hoc, manual and static standard web-service languages such as WSDL, BPEL and WS-CDL [3, 7]. The main objective of the work reported in this thesis is thus to leverage the development of service-oriented business applications towards more reliability and dynamic adaptability, placing emphasis on the use of business rules to govern activities, while composing services. The best available software-engineering techniques for adaptability, mainly aspect-oriented mechanisms, are also to be integrated with advanced formal techniques. More specifically, the proposed approach consists of the following incremental steps. First, it models any business activity behaviour governing any service-oriented business process as Event-Condition-Action (ECA) rules. Then such informal rules are made more interaction-centric, using adapted architectural connectors. Third, still at the conceptual-level, with the aim of adapting such ECA-driven connectors, this approach borrows aspect-oriented ideas and mechanisms, and proposes to intercept events, select the properties required for interacting entities, explicitly and separately execute such ECA-driven behavioural interactions and finally dynamically weave the results into the entities involved. To ensure compliance and to preserve the implementation of this architectural conceptualisation, the work adopts the Maude language as an executable operational formalisation. For that purpose, Maude is first endowed with the notions of components and interfaces. Further, the concept of ECA-driven behavioural interactions are specified and implemented as aspects. Finally, capitalising on Maude reflection, the thesis demonstrates how to weave such interaction executions into associated services.
- PhD