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Created: November 30, 2004.
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RM4GS Open Source Middleware Supports Reliable Messaging for Grid Services.

Messaging software which implements the OASIS WS-Reliability 1.1 Standard has been released for public use by the joint developers, Fujitsu Limited, Hitachi, Ltd., and NEC Corporation. The software may be downloaded from the website of the Information-Technology Promotion Agency, Japan.

RM4GS (Reliable Messaging for Grid Services) has been made publicly available in a desire to "help speed the widespread adoption of software products that incorporate the [WS-Reliability] reliable messaging function, thereby making it possible for customers to develop highly reliable web services systems in shorter time frames and at lower cost."

The WS-Reliability 1.1 specification recently approved as an OASIS Standard "provides a method to guarantee message delivery over the Internet, enabling companies to conduct reliable business-to-business trading or collaboration using Web services. It defines a SOAP-based protocol for exchanging SOAP messages with guaranteed delivery, no duplicates, and guaranteed message ordering. WS-Reliability is defined as SOAP header extensions and is independent of the underlying protocol, but the specification also provides a binding to HTTP."

As defined through the OASIS WSRM Technical Committee's requirements document, Reliable Messaging (RM) "is the execution of a transport-agnostic, SOAP-based protocol providing quality of service in the reliable delivery of messages. There are two aspects to Reliable Messaging; both must be equally addressed when specifying RM features: (1) The wire protocol aspect. RM is a protocol, including both specific message headers and specific message choreographies, between a sending party and a receiving party; (2) The quality of service (QoS) aspect. RM defines a quality of messaging service to the communicating parties, viz., the users of the messaging service. This assumes a protocol between these users and the provider of this service (i.e., the reliable messaging middleware). This protocol is defined by a set of abstract operations: Submit, Deliver, Notify, Respond."

RM4GS, as a reliable messaging implementation for web services, is compliant with WS-Reliability 1.1 and supports reliability functions specified in that specification. It has been developed entirely with "100% pure Java," and provides interworking with EJB: "RM4GS is implemented as a resource adapter defined in JCA (J2EE Connector Architecture) specification and can work with EJB; received messages can be handled by MDB (Message Driven Bean)." RM4GS also supports extensibility: it "adopts a layer structure with internal interface [so] its functions can be extended by adoption or change of components in every layer."

Software documentation says that each RM4GS instance supports the following components and functions: (1) P2P Asynchronous Communication API Adapter; (2) MSM [Message Service Manager] for asynchronous messaging functions; (3) MSH [Message Service Handler], which provides a packaging function for specific communication protocol format. MSH is located at the lowest layer and work with an underlying protocol handler such as SOAP handler. The P2P component "provides an API for asynchronous communication, with both sending message functions and receiving message functions. Since it provides asynchronous semantics, the sending application can work independently from the receiving application. Thus the API call from the sending application for sending a message will complete before the receiving application receives the message."

The RM4GS software has been made available under the open source Japan Business Grid License Agreement (JBL) Version 1.0. The agreement says (in part) that the Licensor hereby grants to [the] Licensee, whether for commercial purpose or not, a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to use, copy, reproduce, translate, modify, distribute, transmit the Program, and [to] sublicense such license to any third party... [the] Licensor hereby grants to the Licensee a world-wide royalty-free, non-exclusive license to use and sublicense Licensor's Patents to the extent necessary for Licensee to use and sublicense the Program or the Modified Program in accordance with the terms and conditions of [the] Agreement."

RM4GS Documentation

Documentation for the RM4GS software is provided in Javadoc format and in four prose (PDF) documents, here referenced:

  • RM4GS Overview. September 2004. 6 pages. Copyright (c) 2004, FUJITSU LIMITED, Hitachi, Ltd. and NEC Corporation. "This guide describes why reliable messaging is required in Web Services, gives an overview of WS-Reliability and an overview of the RM4GS."

  • RM4GS Reference Guide. Version 1.0. September 2004. 9 pages. Copyright (c) 2004, FUJITSU LIMITED, Hitachi, Ltd. and NEC Corporation. "The goal of the document is to help the readers to use RM4GS. This document is a user manual for developers. It describes how to use RM4GS for developing Grid applications that require reliable messaging."

  • RM4GS Programming Guide. Version 1.0. September 2004. 14 pages. Copyright (c) 2004, FUJITSU LIMITED, Hitachi, Ltd. and NEC Corporation. "This document describes programming guide of RM4GS (Reliable Messaging for Grid Services)."

  • RM4GS Install Guide. Version 1.0. September 2004. 20 pages. Copyright (c) 2004, FUJITSU LIMITED, Hitachi, Ltd. and NEC Corporation. "This document describes how to install configure and operate RM4GS (Reliable Messaging for Grid Services) and other required software."

From the Announcement

Fujitsu Limited, Hitachi, Ltd., and NEC Corporation today announced that they are making available as open source their jointly developed messaging software that implements the Web Services Reliability (WS-Reliability) standard, a messaging specification for web services designed to ensure superior reliability. The software will be available for download free of charge as of November 26 at the website of the Information-Technology Promotion Agency, Japan...

Until now, in order to construct a highly reliable system that employs web services, it was necessary for each application on the web services network to guarantee the reliability of the transmissions. This software solves that problem by providing a reliable messaging function that prevents the loss of messages and the duplication of messages in transit. By making messaging highly reliable, the software eliminates the need for each individual application to guarantee transmission reliability.

Last year, a group of IT vendors including Fujitsu, Hitachi and NEC, issued a draft of the WS-Reliability specification, and have worked with OASIS, the standards organization, to have it designated as an industry standard. The specification passed a public review and the final voting stage held by OASIS members, with OASIS formally adopting it as an official standard on November 15. The three companies began their participation in the standardization work with the objective of promoting standardization in the web services domain. To further the adoption of the WS-Reliability standard, the three companies disclosed the software's source code, releasing it as open source.

Releasing this software as open source will help speed the widespread adoption of software products that incorporate this reliable messaging function, thereby making it possible for customers to develop highly reliable web services systems in shorter time frames and at lower cost.

Since July of 2003, the three firms have jointly pursued the development of middleware software for the realization of grid computing as part of the Business Grid Computing Project promoted by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). The software was developed as part of this project...

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