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OASIS Forms Web Services Composite Application Framework (WS-CAF) TC

OASIS TC Call For Participation: WS-CAF TC

Date:      Thu, 18 Sep 2003 11:57:42 -0400
From:      Karl F. Best <>
Subject:   OASIS TC Call For Participation: WS-CAF

A new OASIS technical committee is being formed. The OASIS Web Services Composite Application Framework (WS-CAF) Technical Committee has been proposed by the following members of OASIS: Jan Alexander, Systinet; Doug Bunting, Sun Microsystems; Martin Chapman, Oracle Corp.; Mark Little, Arjuna Technologies; Jeff Mischkinsky, Oracle Corp.; Dale Moberg, Cyclone Commerce; Ramesh Nagappan, Sun Microsystems; Eric Newcomer, IONA Technologies; Keith Swenson, Fujitsu Software Corp.; Jim Webber, Arjuna Technologies; and Pete Wenzel, SeeBeyond.

The proposal for a new TC meets the requirements of the OASIS TC Process (see, and is appended to this message. The proposal, which includes a statement of purpose, list of deliverables, and proposed schedule, will constitute the TC's charter. The TC Process allows these items to be clarified (revised) by the TC members; such clarifications (revisions), as well as submissions of technology for consideration by the TC and the beginning of technical discussions, may occur no sooner than the TC's first meeting.

As specified by the OASIS TC Process, the requirements for becoming a member of the TC are that you must 1) be an employee of an OASIS member organization or an Individual member of OASIS; 2) notify the TC chair of your intent to participate at least 15 days prior to the first meeting; and 3) attend the first meeting of the TC.

For OASIS members, to register for the TC using the OASIS collaborative tools, go to the TC's public page at and click on the button for "Join This TC" at the top of the page. You may add yourself to the roster of the TC either as a Prospective Member (if you intend to become a member of the TC) or an Observer. A notice will automatically be sent to the TC chair, which fulfills requirement #2 above. You may join a TC at any time after the first meeting, but in order to be a voting member at the first TC meeting you must a) register at least 15 days before the first meeting and b) attend the first meeting.

Note that membership in OASIS TCs is by individual, and not by organization.

For non-OASIS members, a public comment list is available for the public to make comments on the work of this TC; the public may subscribe to this list by sending a message to

The archives of the TC's private and comment mail lists are visible to the public at

Further information about this topic may be found on the Cover Pages under the topic of "Messaging and Transaction Coordination" at:


Karl F. Best
Vice President, OASIS
office +1 978.667.5115 x206
mobile +1 978.761.1648


The following will comprise the TC's charter.

Name of the TC

OASIS Web Services Composite Application Framework (WS-CAF) TC

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of the OASIS Web Services Composite Application Framework TC is to define a generic and open framework for applications that contain multiple services used in combination (composite applications).

Multiple web services combined in composite applications require interoperable mechanisms to set the boundaries of an activity (such as start/end, or success/failure), to create, access and manage context information, and to inform participants of changes to an activity. Composite applications might also need to work with a range of transaction models, including simple activity scoping, single and two phase commit ACID transactions, and recoverable long running activities.

The goal of this TC is to define a set of royalty-free related, interoperable and modular specifications that will enable development of composite applications, ranging from simple to complex combinations of web services and encompassing a useful range of transaction and coordination requirements.

In no event shall this Technical Committee finalize or approve any technical specification if it believes that the use, distribution, or implementation of such specification would necessarily require the unauthorized infringement of any third party rights known to the Technical Committee, and such third party has not agreed to provide necessary license rights on perpetual, royalty-free, non-discriminatory terms.


Essential elements of web services are SOAP and WSDL. The specifications to be created will provide WSDL definitions for context, coordination and transactions. Message formats will be specified as SOAP headers and/or body content. The resulting specification must be programming language-neutral and platform-neutral.

Interoperability, ease of implementation, and ease of use will be fundamental characteristics for WS-CAF. The TC's work should build upon similar, existing standards wherever possible and to align where appropriate with other relevant standards. Alignment means any of the following: feature reuse, bindings, guidelines on how to jointly use the specification with other related ones, or addressing requirements from other related standards.

Composability is a critical aspect of Web Service specifications. We expect the work of the WS-CAF TC, particularly WS-Context, to become building blocks for other Web service specifications and standards. Therefore, the resulting specification must be non-overlapping and have demonstrated composability with other Web Service specifications that are being developed in open, recognized standards setting organizations. The WS-CAF TC will work with these organizations to gather requirements input and to define the relationships between their specifications and this TC's work with the goal of promoting convergence, consistent use, and a coherent architecture.

The WS-CAF TC will accept as input the WS-Context, WS-Coordination Framework and WS-Transaction Management specifications [1] published by Arjuna, Fujitsu, Iona, Oracle, and Sun Microsystems on July 28 2003. Other contributions in addition to WS-CAF will be accepted for consideration without any prejudice or restrictions and evaluated on their technical merit, as long as the contributions conform to the goals and scope of this charter.

The benefits and results of this work will be standard and interoperable ways to:

  • Demarcate and coordinate web service activities
  • Propagate and coordinate context information
  • Notify participants of changes in an activity
  • Define the relationship of coordinators to each other
  • Recover transactions predictably and consistently in a business process execution
  • Interact across multiple transaction models (such as are used in CORBA, CICS, Enterprise JavaBeans or .NET environments)

List of Deliverables

  • A revised WS-Context specification. Draft due within 6 months of first meeting.
  • A revised WS-Coordination Framework specification. Draft due within 10 months of first meeting.
  • A revised WS-Transaction Management specification. Draft due within 14 months of first meeting.
  • A primer introducing the above specifications, including use cases and scenarios as appropriate.

These specifications will reflect refinements and changes made to, and by, contributions to the TC that are identified by members for additional functionality and semantic clarity within the scope of the TC charter. The titles of the specifications may change.

The TC will also develop and sponsor a testing/interoperability program in parallel with the development of the specifications.

At the appropriate time, the TC shall submit its Committee Drafts for balloting by OASIS membership for OASIS Standard status. The TC will make a determination, at that time, as to whether to progress the specifications individually or in groups.


The anticiated audience for this work includes:

  • other specification writers that need underlying web service coordination, context and transaction mechanisms
  • vendors offering web service products
  • software architects and progammers who design and write distributed applications requiring coordination, context and transaction mechanisms.


All business will be conducted in English.

Additional Information

The following information is for the purpose of setting up the TC

Similar work

Although no work is taking place currently in other OASIS TCs or other organizations that overlaps its scope, the WS-CAF TC will collaborate with other OASIS TCs, such as the Business Transaction Protocol TC, the Asynchronous Service Access Protocol TC and the Web Service Business Process Execution Language TC.

The WS-CAF TC will also collaborate with efforts within the W3C's Web Service Activity Working Groups, including the XML Protocol, Web Service Architecture, Web Service Description, and Web Service Choreography Working Groups.

Other Contributions

Apart from the WS-CAF specification [1] mentioned above, the TC would like to see WS-Coordination and WS-Transactions being contributed to this effort. Contact with their authors has been initiated with that goal.

Date and Time of first meeting

The first meeting of the WS-CAF TC will take place via teleconference on October 31, 2003 at 8:00 AM Pacific. Call-in information will be sent out to prospective members two weeks before that time. That date and time will be the time of record for establishing initial voting membership under the OASIS TC process. This meeting will be sponsored by Martin Chapman (Oracle).

Meeting Schedule

The TC is expected to meet bi-weekly via teleconference and to have quarterly face to face meetings of a 2-3 day duration, unless a different schedule is agreed upon. The sponsor for teleconference meetings will be Martin Chapman (Oracle).

The first face to face meeting (two days) will be hosted by Eric Newcomer (Iona Technologies) in the Boston area during the first week of December, 2003. The exact time and location are subject to confirmation by the TC. Subsequent meeting hosts will be decided when further face to face meetings are agreed upon by the TC.

TC Co-Sponsors

The following persons eligible to participate in OASIS technical committees state that they are committed to the purpose and schedule stated above:


The convener for this TC shall be Mark Little, Arjuna, and the proposed chairs are

  • Martin Chapman, Oracle Corporation
  • Eric Newcomer, Iona Technologies



WS-Coordination Framework
WS-Transaction Management

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See details in the news story "OASIS Forms Web Services Composite Application Framework Technical Committee." Related specifications in "Messaging and Transaction Coordination", being a general reference document for specifications and standards activities related to the coordination (choreography, orchestration, management) of messages/transactions.

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