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Created: July 20, 2002.
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Object Management Group Issues Web Services for Enterprise Collaboration (WSEC) RFP.

The Object Management Group (OMG) has issued an RFP on Web Services for Enterprise Collaboration. The RFP "provides for a two-way mapping between the Component Collaboration Architecture (CCA) portion of the Enterprise Collaboration Architecture (ECA) and WSDL such that enterprise collaborations described in CCA can be implemented with WSDL, XML Schema and SOAP. It also describes how existing WSDL services are represented in UML using CCA. This enables high-level and business focused collaborations to be automatically and deterministically mapped to web services infrastructures. It also allows existing services to be made part of new CCA collaborations. The RFP specifically solicits proposals for the following: (1) A Mapping from EDOC-Component Collaboration Architecture to XML-Schema and unbound WSDL 1.1 with a SOAP binding; (2) A Mapping from XML-Schema and WSDL 1.1 with an optional SOAP binding to the EDOC-Component Collaboration Architecture; (3) Any required extensions to the EDOC-Component Collaboration Architecture to represent WSDL semantics." The letter of intent deadline is August 28, 2002, and the initial submission deadline October 28, 2002.

Bibliographic information: Web Services for Enterprise Collaboration (WSEC). An EDOC technology mapping. Object Management Group (OMG). Request For Proposal. Issue date: June 28, 2002. OMG Document reference: mars/2002-06-06. 32 pages. Also available in Word .DOC or Postscript format

Background to the RFP:

Internet technologies are quickly becoming a highly accepted mechanism for enterprise collaboration, enabling business to business and department to department integration of business processes. WSDL and SOAP have emerged as the accepted standard for enabling communication in support of system to system communication over Internet media...

WSDL, XML-Schema and associated technologies such as SOAP provide a solid foundation for system to system communication. The ability for systems to integrate with only a communications connection and a WSDL specification has realized open distributed computing with broad acceptance. However, WSDL is technology focused and falls short when viewed as a way to specify collaborative business processes. In addition, as a technology focused specification WSDL is subject to rapid change and may be only one of the technologies employed in a multi-enterprise solution composed of divergent systems.

Multiple 'add on' forms of specification are being proposed for WSDL, such as WSFL, Xlang and WSCL. Since CCA provides a higher level representation of collaborative semantics it can serve to bridge between these extensions as they evolve over time. By providing a model based (MDA) approach to enterprise collaboration implemented using WSDL we will have substantially improved the state of the art with respect to: (1) High level support for understanding and documenting collaborative business processes. (2) Loose coupling between independent parties in a collaboration (3) Tighter cohesion in the software development life-cycle between design and implementation processes and artifacts. (4) Consistency in the way WSDL is used to implement collaboration. (5) A standard way to use UML for web services WSDL specifications. (6) Enhanced WSDL support for asynchronous interactions based on CCA semantics. (7) Automation of the development process from design to implementation. (8) Faster, more deterministic development processes. (9) Ability to adapt to changing business requirements. (10) Ability to adapt to multiple and changing infrastructure technologies. (11)Full life-cycle tool support...

The Enterprise Collaboration Architecture (ECA) adopted as part of OMG-EDOC describes semantics of collaboration and how collaborations can drilldown into the enterprise systems and supporting applications. Utilizing the Model Driven Architecture, ECA is intended to support and integrate multiple technologies and forms of expressions based on high-level UML models and the MDA Vision.

From the 'Requirements':

  • Submissions shall specify complete mapping rules enabling translation of the applicable features of a CCA Meta-Model specification to a valid set of XML-Schema (Structures and data types) and WSDL service definitions not bound to any technology. Submissions shall specify the features of CCA applicable to XML-Schema and WSDL.
  • Submissions shall specify complete mapping rules enabling translation of the applicable features of a CCA Meta-Model specification to a valid set of XML-Schema (Structures and data types) and WSDL service definitions bound to SOAP.
  • Submissions shall specify which version(s) of WSDL, Schema, SOAP and EDOC they support.
  • To the extent possible, submissions shall specify complete and isomorphic mapping rules enabling translation of all of the features of a valid WSDL specification with referenced XML-Schema to a CCA Meta-Model specification. This mapping may impose some restrictions on XML-Schema data types, such limitations must be fully specified.

A related endeavor is the Java Process Component API (JPC), described in JSR 159: "The goal of JPC is to provide J2EE developers with the ability to compose an application out of service level components (where service in this context means a loosely coupled, event based process). Today, J2EE developers build applications that implement a service; however, there is no formal way to describe the full semantics of a service to the J2EE container. There is no formal concept of a service as a J2EE component nor is there a formal concept of service composition. For some time, the computing industry has struggled to find a component abstraction that balanced the need for type safety with the need for loosely coupled, event based composition. The most recent and most promising solution to this problem is the EDOC Component Collaboration Architecture. In addition to standing alone as a service component architecture, CCA is closely related to the WSDL model for web services. Both are loosely coupled, port based models of service integration; however, the CCA goes much further to explicitly define a rich collaboration model. Their similarities make it practical to view WSDL as a web service adjunct to CCA rather than a different, competing technology. Rather than inventing yet another service component model, JPC will be based on the existing EDOC Component Collaboration Architecture. While JPC will draw on EDOC concepts and design, EDOC neither constrains nor defines requirements for JPC..."

About OMG: "With well-established standards covering software from design, through development, to deployment and maintenance, the Object Management Group (OMG) supports a full-lifecycle approach to enterprise integration. Based on the established Object Management Architecture (OMA) and emerging Model Driven Architecture (MDA), OMG's standards cover application design and implementation. OMG's Modeling standards include the UML (Unified Modeling Language) and CWM (Common Warehouse Metamodel). CORBA, the Common Object Request Broker Architecture, is OMG's standard open platform. OMG also issues the CORBAservices and a rapidly-growing set of industry-specific standards in vertical markets including healthcare, telecommunications, biotechnology, transportation and a dozen other areas."

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