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Designing Atomic Business Functions

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Santosh Shrivastava, Professor Mark Little



Business-to-business integration (B2Bi) solutions offered by vendors fall into two broad categories: hub-and-spoke (interaction between partners takes place through a central hub that acts as an intermediary), and peer-to-peer (interaction takes place directly between partners). Vendors are increasingly offering cloud based solutions; a hub-and-spoke architecture is well suited to SaaS level provision whereas a peer-to-peer architecture offers a wider set of options, allowing individual partners to deploy their side of software at the level of IaaS, PaaS or SaaS. An important coordination problem in B2Bi that needs addressing is how to ensure that business interactions between partners terminate in a consistent manner even in the presence of application level exceptions and software, hardware and network related problems commonly encountered in distributed systems. Solutions that have been developed so far and incorporated in SOA middleware are essentially based on OASIS WS-TX set of transaction standards, namely WS-coordination, WS-AtomicTransaction and WS-BusinessActivity. WS-TX based solutions require a central activity coordinator. The paper argues that although these solutions are quite suitable within a hub- and spoke B2Bi architecture, they sit awkwardly in peer-to-peer B2Bi settings, where a distributed approach, not requiring a central coordinator is more suitable. The paper develops such an approach; it focuses on the choreography of the business function and describes how to make the choreography atomic, ensuring consistent termination in the presence of application level exceptions and failures.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Shrivastava S, Little M

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: School of Computing Science Technical Report Series

Year: 2015

Pages: 12

Print publication date: 01/03/2015

Report Number: 1457

Institution: School of Computing Science, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Place Published: Newcastle upon Tyne