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Web Services Composite Applications Framework (WS-CAF)

Industry Leaders Drive Convergence, Publish Web Services Specifications to Coordinate Business Applications

Arjuna Technologies, Fujitsu Software, IONA, Oracle and Sun Microsystems Open Development with Imminent Standardization of Specification Framework

Waltham, MA, USA. July 28, 2003.

Arjuna Technologies Limited, Fujitsu Software, IONA Technologies PLC, Oracle Corp and Sun Microsystems today announced the publication of the Web Services Composite Applications Framework (WS-CAF).

The Web Services Composite Application Framework is a collection of three specifications -- Web Service Context (WS-CTX), Web Service Coordination Framework (WS-CF), and Web Service Transaction Management (WS-TXM) -- designed to solve problems that arise when multiple Web services are used in combination ("composite applications") to support information sharing and transaction processing.

WS-CAF and Transaction Processing

Transaction processing (TP) is the core of commerce. Some transactions are very simple, such as purchasing a book or transferring funds, and can be processed immediately. Other transactions are more complex, such as fulfilling a purchase order or completing an insurance claim, and may take days or even years to process. All businesses rely on the concept of a transaction, but have built upon the concept through various architectures, which limits interoperability and creates multiple 'islands' of mutually incompatible TP networks.

WS-CAF solves the TP information management and sharing problem by defining an open, multi-level framework for standard coordination of long-running business processes across multiple, incompatible transaction processing models and architectures.

The authors plan to donate WS-CAF to a recognized industry standards organization soon under royalty-free licensing terms. This effort will lead the industry to converge on effective solutions through an open standards organization with proven development processes. Solutions developed this way are more likely to be reliable, interoperable and immediately useful to a large audience.

"User organizations are increasingly looking towards composite applications formed from multiple Web services to foster reuse and allow for the rapid delivery of new business services," said Stephen O'Grady, analyst at RedMonk. "WS-CAF is a response to that interest."

The Web Services Composite Application Framework (WS-CAF) is comprised of three specifications:

  • Web Service Context (WS-CTX), a lightweight framework for simple context management that helps enable all Web services participating in an activity share a common context and exchange information about a common outcome.

  • Web Service Coordination Framework (WS-CF), a sharable mechanism that manages context augmentation and lifecycle and provides the notification of outcome messages to Web services participating in a particular transaction.

  • Web Services Transaction Management (WS-TXM), is comprised of three distinct, interoperable transaction protocols that can be used across multiple transaction managers. WS-TXM supports multiple transaction models to help enable participants to negotiate outcomes with each other and make a common decision about how to behave, especially in the case of failure, regardless whether the execution environment is CORBA, Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB), .NET, Java Message Service (JMS), or some combination.

WS-CAF does not require the implementation of a new transaction protocol. The WS-CAF framework can use any transaction protocol in place of, or in addition to, the neutral protocols defined for WS-TXM, such as the OASIS Business Transactions Protocol. WS-CAF supports implementations of part or the entire framework, allowing users to leverage existing infrastructure commitments and investments. WS-CAF is compatible with other related specifications.

"Arjuna has always been committed to driving open standards for transaction processing and Web services for the benefit of our customers," said David Ingham, CTO at Arjuna Technologies. "WS-CAF, which we will shortly be donating to a recognised standards organization on a royalty free basis, provides standardized approaches to context propagation, coordination, and transaction management and offers significant improvements over the state of the art in terms of its layered approach. Customers require open standards and as specialist suppliers of middleware technology for reliable systems, Arjuna will add support for WS-CAF in our Web service transactioning product."

"Standards are very important for interoperability in our industry. Fujitsu has always been a strong advocate for open standards. We see the standardization of context management, cooperation, and transactions through Web Services as key to the next step in effective application integration,"said Shizuo Inagaki, President of Fujitsu Software Corporation.

"The use of Web services as part of long-running business process scenarios is limited today due to the lack of interoperability across system-level functions," said Eric Newcomer, CTO at IONA and WS-CAF co-author. "WS-CAF addresses the underlying issues of Web service context propagation and transaction management to provide an open, flexible framework that expands the scope, usability, and reliability of Web services for business process automation across multiple architectures, applications and organizations."

"Recently, a number of Web services specifications have emerged to address enterprise requirements such as security, reliability, and orchestration. While all of these require some underlying coordination mechanism, the design and interfaces for these features have not been addressed in a uniform manner, resulting in duplicated effort and serious interoperability problems," said Don Deutsch, Vice President of Standards Strategy and Architecture for Oracle Corporation. "The Web Services Composite Application Framework, which we soon will be submitting to a recognized standards organization on royalty-free terms, provides a common and open framework for context and transaction management that enables other Web services specifications to function effectively in an interoperable manner."

"Developers are rapidly moving from building basic services to developing more complex business applications, where the need for the Composite Application Framework (WS-CAF) becomes much greater," said Mark Bauhaus, vice president of Java Web Services at Sun Microsystems. "Sun is committed to driving the evolution of this important set of Web services specifications in a recognized, open standards forum."

The Web Services - Composite Applications Framework specifications (WS-CAF) can be found at the URLs listed below:

Other industry leaders supporting the publication of the WS-CAF specification include Hitachi. "Hitachi welcomes the publication of Web Services - Composite Application Framework (WS-CAF) as an important technology for next generation e-business," said Takao Nakamura, General Manager, Network Software of Hitachi, Ltd., Software Division. "We are confident that this technology will enable even more extensive mission critical e-business solutions."

About Arjuna Technologies Limited

Arjuna Technologies is a leading independent supplier of standards-based middleware technology for reliable distributed systems. Arjuna was created from the former Hewlett-Packard Arjuna Lab, HP's Centre of Excellence for transactioning, messaging and related technologies. Arjuna is privately owned and based in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

Arjuna's products include transactioning and messaging software for J2EE and Web services. Arjuna pioneered the world's first transactioning toolkit for Web Services, released in March 2002 and have now developed the Arjuna XML Transaction Service (ArjunaXTS), providing all the components necessary to connect Web Services together in order to create reliable applications. ArjunaXTS architecture is based on the WS-CAF specifications and is explicitly designed to support pluggable coordination protocols (including WS-C/T, WS-CAF). Later this year Arjuna will release an advanced reliable messaging product to enable secure and reliable integration of Web services and enterprise applications within and across organizational boundaries. Visit for more information.

About Fujitsu Software Corporation

Fujitsu Software Corporation, based in San Jose, California, is part of the Fujitsu Limited family. Fujitsu Software Corporation leverages Fujitsu's international scope and expertise in developing and providing information technology solutions. Fujitsu Software Corporation's products include the Interstage(R) e-business platform and NetCOBOL. For more information, visit

About IONA

IONA Technologies is the leading provider of High Performance Integration technology for mission critical systems with more than 4,500 customers worldwide. IONA's software solutions are used to create corporate IT infrastructures that connect business applications and middleware subsystems from various vendors into a coherent strategic federation.

Founded in 1991, IONA has an unmatched record of successful, large-scale deployments across such demanding industries as manufacturing, financial, telecommunications, government and defense. IONA remains dedicated to creating interoperability through standards-based technologies including CORBA, Web services, and J2EE and pursues such interoperability in an incremental, non-disruptive fashion.

IONA is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, with U.S. headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts and offices worldwide. For additional information about IONA, visit our Web site at

About Oracle

Oracle is the world's largest enterprise software company. For more information about Oracle, visit our Web site at

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer" -- has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the World Wide Web at

Arjuna is a registered trademark of Hewlett-Packard Company under license to Arjuna Technologies Limited. Fujitsu Software Corporation is a registered trademark of Fujitsu Limited. IONA, IONA Technologies, the IONA logo, Orbix, High Performance Integration, Artix, Mobile Orchestrator and Making Software Work Together are trademarks or registered trademarks of IONA Technologies PLC and/or its subsidiaries. Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates. Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Java, J2EE, EJB, Enterprise Java Beans, and The Network Is The Computer, are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.


IONA Technologies
Jonathan Daly
Tel: +1 781-902-8139

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See other references in the news story "Web Services Composite Application Framework (WS-CAF) for Transaction Coordination."

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