B2B Integration - Workflow Systems - SOA - ESB
The accessibility of services is, however, only starting to take advantage of the latest industry standards such as XML, SOAP, WSDL, UDDI. The latest three technologies are often associated with such "Web Services" concept as Service Oriented Architecture (SOA ), where services implemented by various technologies should be able to interface with other systems using open standards independently of programming languages and architectures.
In 2002 the "Web Services Architecture Working Group" of the W3C specified a set of requirements for the Web services stack (W3C Working Draft Nov. 2002), which later (in 2003-08) has been extended to a description identifying the functional components and layers of a SOA architecture (Wire, Description, and Discovery; three fundamental components: Service Provider, Service Requester, Service Registry). Likewise OASIS members have formed recently (2003-09) a new WS-CAF Technical Committee to "define a generic and open framework for applications that contain multiple services used in combination (composite applications)."
The B2B area is especially influenced by the new streams and action lines, because the B2B integration process can be generally described as an application-to-application (service to service) process , which makes, the web services approach very applicable to this field. As a result the global players are enhancing and modifying their B2B Integration Systems (e.g. Oracle9iAS Integration, MS Biztalk, IBM CrossWorlds, BEAs WebLogic) toward the involvement of web services techniques and methodologies.
Furthermore workflow systems provided by such global vendors likeDominoWorkflow (Lotus/IBM), MQSeries (IBM), Changenine (HP), I-Flow (Fujitsu) or SAP R/3 Workflow are also influenced by this new service oriented stream and a continuously adaptation of SOA approaches can be observed.
The representatives of the Java oriented world (SUN, JSSL) released in 2003 a framework for Web Service development - the Web Services Reference Architecture (WSRA), in which the main web service related principles and structures are given (guidelines for infrastructure, design, interoperability, and testing recommendations, reference implementations of core services).
In 2003, the IBM / Microsoft Corporation represented world reacts with a comprehensive specification of the "Architecture and Composition of Web Services "providing a broad overview on the SOA , which comprises web service specifications and functions (transport, message, WS - addressing and description, security, and transaction). It emphasises on the aspect of "composability" and introduces the specification of the BPEL4WS (Business Process Execution Language for Web Services).. BPEL4WS provides three constructs supporting such composition aspects as "structure, information and behaviour" . In this sense BPEL4WS represents the more "dynamical" feature supplementing the rather "static" Web Services stack characterised by WSDL, XML/HTTP/SOAP, UDDI.
The SONIC ESB (Sonic Enterprise Service Bus) should be mentioned as an example of fully market-oriented approaches related to the organisational (platform oriented) management and distributed use of services. It supports the WSDL, UDDI, SOAP, HTTP, Xpath, XSLT, XQuery etc. and combines XML, enterprise communication services, and a service oriented architecture based on "static" web service standards.