This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:
IBM Corporation http://www.ibm.com
- Open Source SOA with Service Component Architecture and Apache Tuscany
- Jericho Report: Collaboration Oriented Architectures
- Metadata for Learning Resources: An Update on Standards Activity 2008
- SCA and JBI: Best of Both Worlds?
- Under the Hood: Oracle Berkeley DB XML
- Internationalize Your Applications with XSLT
- Power to the Patients: Microsoft and Google Revolutionize Medical Records
- Reference Architecture for Service Oriented Architecture Version 1.0
- Sun: Java Ubiquity An Advantage in RIA Battle
Open Source SOA with Service Component Architecture and Apache Tuscany
Doug Tidwell, Tutorial Presentation
The material in this tutorial was presented at the OASIS Open Standards 2008 Symposium, where the program Theme was: "Composability within Service Oriented Architectures." Abstract: Service Component Architecture (SCA) provides a simple programming model to address the challenges of building composite applications. SCA provides a consistent assembly model of distributed applications and of the components from which they are constructed. This model explicitly separates business logic (Component/Services/References) from the details of how a running application is assembled (Composite/Wire) and deployed. This promotes a common terminology and supports a common understanding of the capability of applications and the way those applications work together. This common model also provides the hooks for tooling, governance, monitoring, and management in the service-oriented world. The Apache Tuscany Incubator Project provides an open source services infrastructure for building, deploying and running SOA solutions based on Service Component Architecture (SCA) specifications. Apache Tuscany extends SCA beyond the specifications including support for OSGi and Web 2.0. With Tuscany, application developers can easily create components that provide and use services using a variety of programming languages (Java, BPEL, scripting languages, XQuery, etc), assemble these components into composite applications and deploy them in a distributed environment. Tuscany supports many bindings to facilitate service communication, including Web Services, EJB, JMS, RMI, JSON-RPC, Atom, etc. This tutorial explores how to use SCA and Tuscany to build composite service applications, showing coding examples for how to implement and assemble SCA components. Tuscany is used to build, deploy and run an SCA application on top of Apache Geronimo, communicate with Web Services via Tuscany Axis2 integration, and integrate Web 2.0 clients using JSON-RPC. We use a real world scenario to demonstrate how to build and evolve an online store application using Tuscany SCA as the business grows over time, developed in the following stages: (1) Create an online store, implement services, and integrate a Web 2.0 client; (2) Rewire the composite application after a merger; (3) Integrate a database; (4) Add new services and bindings; (5) Integrate with online services; (6) Reconfigure and rewire the composition as the online business expands.
See also: the Apache Tuscany Project
Jericho Report: Collaboration Oriented Architectures
Staff, Jericho Forum Position Paper
Collaboration Oriented Architectures (COAs) enable enterprises that use them to operate in a secure and reliable manner in an environment of increasing information threat, and where it is the growing norm to interact without boundaries, irrespective of the location of the data or the number of collaborating parties. While many organizations are trying to respond to the de-perimeterization issue, they often lack a framework and set of guiding principles to organize and implement specific solutions; this paper aims to fill the gap.... COA framework generalizes conventional architectures through: (1) increased emphasis on the core requirements; (2) a user repository (keyed on people identifiers), generalized into a contract repository (keyed on relationship, or obligation identifiers); a contract repository records agreements, and the obligations and capabilities that ensue from them; (3) an accounting log (keyed on system events), generalized into a reputation repository (keyed on business events). A reputation repository records user actions and compares them to applicable contracts, and, depending on whether or not the actions are in accordance with the contract, upgrades or downgrades a reputation. The architecture formed by combining SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) with available security protocols (SAML or other XML) is [of itself] insufficient to support COA. [Other elements may include:] Standard Security Management System ISO/IEC 27001; Business processes that manage the collaborations founded on practises found in COBIT; Service Management capabilities detailed in ITIL; The architecture capabilities defined in TOGAF; A powerful language for describing access policies and delegations, where XACML version 3.0 is a promising candidate; Access managers that will enforce an externally-required or end-to-end policy; Attribute brokers that will establish a requester's identity, credentials and attributes to an appropriate degree of confidence, based on information from multiple authoritative sources, e.g., attribute authorities; Performance managers that will record what a user or system does at the level of business events, judge whether the user or system has acted in accordance with a contract or other agreed obligation, and report on their compliance profile; Contract brokers that will negotiate and agree new collaborative understandings between collaborating individuals in ways which do not violate their 'owning' organization's and jurisdiction's existing policies and contracts. These new contracts must be expressed in an open-standard language which can be interpreted by performance managers and access managers—where eBXML is a strong candidate.
See also: Dan Blum's Burton Group Blog
Metadata for Learning Resources: An Update on Standards Activity 2008
Sarah Currier, Ariadne
In this article the author provides an overview of current initiatives in standards for educational metadata. In 2002 the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) published the IEEE Learning Object Metadata standard (IEEE LOM), superseding the IMS Learning Resource Meta-data specification, which had been developed and used through several versions since the mid-1990s. Over the same general period, the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) had established the Dublin Core (DC) as a standard for describing all kinds of web-based resources. The Dublin Core Education Working Group emerged as one of several special interest groups developing specific metadata elements for the use of their communities. Both of these standards have seen wide uptake since their establishment, together with a growing body of both practical implementation experience and applied research into their application. National and international standards bodies involved in educational technology have maintained interest in supporting them, and various communities of interest and organisations have attempted to achieve some measure of interoperability through development of a number of application profiles. The IEEE LOM is a multi-part standard, currently consisting of a data model and an XML schema, but with further parts currently under development as noted below. In addition, the IMS Global Learning Consortium maintains a set of best practice guidelines that accompany the LOM. The LOM's history is intimately bound up with the history and development of the IMS e-learning interoperability specifications (e.g. IMS Content Packaging), and with the history of the ADL SCORM reference model, which profiles the LOM alongside other specifications. It is worth noting, however, that the most recent development in the content interoperability domain within IMS, the IMS Common Cartridge specification, profiles Dublin Core metadata within its packages, albeit using a LOM mapping of Simple Dublin Core... On 27-March-2008 the IEEE approved two Project Authorization Requests (PARs), one for the recommended practice for expressing LOM using DCAM, and one for the RDF translation of the LOM. Both the DCMI and IEEE recommendation documents will provide expressions of LOM elements and vocabularies that are reusable within DC metadata, which is good news for the DC Education Application Profile... A separate group interested in improving on the LOM began work under the aegis of the International Standards Organisation (ISO). The major concerns being addressed were providing support for multilingual capability and alternate resources, e.g. for accessibility purposes. The standard will be in two parts: a framework, and a set of core elements. While clearly borne out of similar frustrations as have been felt in the LOM communities around the world, this has occasioned some consternation in the rest of the e-learning standards domain, as it seems a third standard, which is not immediately interoperable with the other two, may be on the horizon...
SCA and JBI: Best of Both Worlds?
Srini Penchikala, InfoQueue
See also: JSR 208 - Java Business Integration
Under the Hood: Oracle Berkeley DB XML
Deepak Vohra, XML.com
Storing an XML document in a relational database has its limitations. XML's hierarchical structures of elements and element attributes do not necessarily map well to relational database structures, which is where an embeddable (non-relational) XML database has its advantages over a relational database. Oracle databases (since Oracle 9i database R2) provide the Oracle XML DB feature to store and query XML documents in an XMLType data-type column, but you still need a DBA to manage the Oracle database. On the other hand, Oracle Berkley DB XML is an embeddable XML database for storing and retrieving XML documents, one which provides efficient querying of XML documents using XQuery. Oracle Berkley DB XML is built on the embeddable Oracle Berkley DB database and inherits all the features of the database... Oracle Berkeley DB XML database stores XML data in a container. A container is managed with a 'XmlManager' object. XML documents may be stored in a Oracle Berkeley DB XML database as whole documents or a set of nodes. It's recommended to store whole documents if the documents are relatively small and loading performance is more important than query performance. Storing in nodes is recommended if query performance is more important than loading performance and documents are relatively large. BDB XML supports XQuery 1.0 and XPath 2.0 specifications to query an XML document in the database. XML documents in a BDB XML database may be modified, updated and deleted... The Berkeley DB XML database stores complete XML documents and provides the provision to query, modify and update documents without having to retrieve the documents from the database. Note: Oracle acquired Berkeley DB from Sleepycat Software in February 2006 and overhauled the database. Oracle Berkeley DB XML Release 2.4 supports the Candiadate Recommendation of W3C's "XQuery Update 1.0".
See also: Oracle Berkeley DB XML
Internationalize Your Applications with XSLT
L. Gianfagna, S. Borghetti, A. Perrone; IBM developerWorks
Today's reporting applications use XML extensively to format data, regardless of the different data sources. More specifically, Web-based reporting applications usually use XSL transformations to present this XML data to different clients. The standard flow for current reporting systems is more or less represented by this chain: 'legacy data source to XML to XSL transformation to Web browser'. Note that you can perform the XSL transformation step either on the server side or the client side, viz., the browser. The choice generally depends on nonfunctional requirements; for example, in a system with a high request rate, moving the XSL transformation to the client could result in performance and scalability benefits. The Web page coming from the XSL transformation must be internationalized. However, when the XSL transformation is performed on the client, the internationalization should be handled during the transformation itself. This means that the XSL transformation should manage the translation of the messages dynamically. In this article, we propose a general solution to address this issue. The article provides a client-side solution based on XSL transformations for internationalizing XML content. No work is required on the server; you only need to store in the XML the language to be used for internationalization. The client completes the job by using the XSLT document function to retrieve the correct dictionary in the XSL transformation. The proposed solution consists of these building blocks: (1) An XSLT client-side transformation; (2) Language ID availability during the transformation—such as the it_IT language code; (3) An XML dictionary in UTF-8 format, where the file-naming convention must contain the language ID; (4) The XSLT document function to access the XML dictionary.
See also: Menke's 'XML dictionary approach'
Power to the Patients: Microsoft and Google Revolutionize Medical Records
Greg Goth, IEEE Distributed Systems Online
Network-enabled communication has revolutionized financial services, retail sales, auctions, and business-to-business transactions. But one of the largest global economy's sectors—healthcare—remains locked in a technological netherworld, part paper, part digital, and almost entirely user-unfriendly. It might take Google and Microsoft -- technology giants, but health-records neophytes—to give networked and interoperable electronic health records just the kick start they need to escape the siloed and proprietary model now prevalent. The new technologies, Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault, are classified as personal health records (PHRs), which are a subset of industry-recognized electronic health records (EHRs). Both companies are now engaged in pilot programs with healthcare organizations regarded as e-health pioneers. Google and Cleveland Clinic are piloting the Google Health technology, while Microsoft is piloting the HealthVault architecture with the Mayo Clinic. Eventually, the two technologies will allow patients to synchronize their records between their various healthcare providers, including dynamic uploading of new data that will then be available to any authorized doctor, nurse, or pharmacist, regardless of their institutional affiliation. The approaches are different: Google Health is a front-end application, while HealthVault is a database that users will augment with via third-party applications. However, the goal is the same in both cases: patients will have ultimate control of their medical records. The Google Health platform is a direct-to-consumer play, putting them in control. That key word "control" could be an amorphously defined but viciously contested battleground between antagonists in several camps: entrenched EHR vendors, which have done well in the current proprietary landscape, versus Microsoft, Google, and new low-cost EHR vendors; and large medical groups and hospitals, which currently store and own patient data, versus consumers, who want to be the ones to distribute data as they see fit... Even for physicians, hospitals, and patients that can agree on the principles of patient-controlled records, significant financial, technical, and regulatory hurdles remain before the mass deployment of PHR-based records systems. Dr. John Halamka [CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and also CIO of Harvard Medical School] says only 18 percent of US-based physicians currently employ EHRs... He says much of the standardization work has progressed well. Transport will be conducted via Web Services standards such as SOAP, XML, and WSDL; the industry has agreed upon a document format called the Continuity of Care Document (CCD). The XML-based CCD contains both structured and unstructured data elements and has been accepted by the major medical records vendors and the US government.
See also: the Continuity of Care Document (CCD)
Reference Architecture for Service Oriented Architecture Version 1.0
J. Estefan, K. Laskey, F. McCabe, D. Thornton (eds.), OASIS PR Draft
The OASIS Service Oriented Architecture Reference Model (SOA-RM) Technical Committee recently approved a Committee Draft specification public review, ending 8-July-2008. "Reference Architecture for Service Oriented Architecture Version 1.0" specifies the OASIS Reference Architecture for Service Oriented Architecture. It follows from the concepts and relationships defined in the OASIS Reference Model for Service Oriented Architecture. While it remains abstract in nature, the document describes one possible template upon which a SOA concrete architecture can be built. Our focus in this architecture is on an approach to integrating business with the information technology needed to support it. The issues involved with integration are always present, but, we find, are thrown into clear focus when business integration involves crossing ownership boundaries. This architecture follows the recommended practice of describing architecture in terms of models, views, and viewpoints, as prescribed in ANSI/IEEE 1471 Std. This Reference Architecture is principally targeted at Enterprise Architects; however, Business and IT Architects as well as CIOs and other senior executives involved in strategic business and IT planning should also find the architectural views and models described herein to be of value. The Reference Architecture has three main views: the Business via Service view which lays the foundation for conducting business in the context of Service Oriented Architecture; the Realizing Services view which addresses the requirements for constructing a Service Oriented Architecture; and the Owning Service Oriented Architecture view which focuses on the governance and management of SOA-based systems... It is fully recognized that other SOA reference architectures have emerged in the industry, both from the analyst community and the vendor/solution provider community. Some of these reference architectures are at a sufficient level of abstraction away from specific implementation technologies while others are based on a solution or technology stack. Still others use emerging middleware technologies such as the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) as the architectural foundation. As with the Reference Model for SOA, the Reference Architecture for SOA is primarily focused on large-scale distributed IT systems where the participants may be legally separate entities. While it is quite possible for many aspects of the Reference Architecture to be realized on quite different platforms, we do not dwell on such opportunities.
See also: the OASIS announcement
Sun: Java Ubiquity An Advantage in RIA Battle
Paul Krill, InfoWorld
Sun Microsystems is counting on the ubiquitous nature of Java to help its JavaFX technology compete in the rich Internet application (RIA) space against rivals Adobe Systems and Microsoft. A browser plug-in for JavaFX will be featured in the Java SE (Standard Edition) 6 Update 10 release due this fall. Both Adobe, with its Flash platform, and Microsoft, with Silverlight, are offering plug-in platforms for rich Internet applications. But Sun plans to provide the industry-leading rich client with JavaFX, said Param Singh, Sun senior director of Java marketing. The Java runtime helps make this possible, he stressed during an interview at the JavaOne conference on Thursday afternoon. Sun's JavaFX plug-in will enable deployment of applications that can work either in or outside of the browser, Singh said. This ability to run applications inside or outside of a browser is similar to what Adobe is offering with its AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime) software. "In our product design, we have looked at all competing environments. But our focus remains to provide the best RIA," said Singh. JavaFX, which was first revealed a year ago, features a client runtime for building rich Internet applications as well as the JavaFX Script scripting language. Runtimes for platforms such as the desktop, mobile device, and even televisions are planned... In other discussions at JavaOne, Sun officials detailed potential changes to the Java Community Process (JCP) for amending the Java platform, as well as plans to enhance the Sun SOA Platform. Sun offered Java up to open source in November 2006. The open-sourcing, however, does not eliminate the need for the JCP to oversee development of the Java platform, said Curran. Open source guarantees openness and transparency, but it does not provide for the development of formal specifications, conformance tests, or the likelihood of competing implementations, he said. Meanwhile, in June Sun plans to upgrade to its SOA package, Java Composite Application Platform Suite (CAPS). Version 6 of the suite will have capabilities to show unified subject views. These capabilities are derived from Sun's open source Project Mural, which focuses on master data management, Sun officials said. Project Mural unifies information about a customer, or perhaps a citizen or medical patient, to present a single view of the subject in question. CAPS also features the GlassFish application server, the Open ESB enterprise service bus, business process capabilities, and legacy adapters. The upgrade will be called CAPS 6.
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