The goal of a service-oriented business architecture (SOA) is the loose coupling of business services. In order to enable such a service-oriented business architecture users require a SOA runtime platform. As of today, enterprise users face a number of challenges in operating these SOA runtime platforms, e.g.
- SOA Platforms consist of a set of internal technical services (e.g. registry, messaging, and security). Today, those technical services are strongly coupled within most of these platforms. A loose coupling of those services would allow a best of breed approach and would give the user the option to leverage existing software assets
- The interoperability between different SOA runtime platforms is often limited to the basic technical services (e.g. messaging). High level interoperability (e.g. business process orchestration) across SOA domains operated on different platforms is often not possible.
- The enablement of embedded systems collaborating in a SOA runtime environment.
The SOA platforms available today fall short to these expectations and limit the value of SOA on the user side. This project intends to address these three challenges:
- Lack of common interfaces between the technical components of a SOA runtime platform
- Lack of interoperability between SOA environments
- Lack of SOA runtime deployment on embedded systems, e.g., on medical devices in the healthcare industry
Lack of common interfaces: The different SOA runtime platforms consist of very similar technical components (e.g. service registry, messaging). The lack of common APIs between these technical components means that these components cannot be exchanged. This project intends to develop a common framework/API which treats these components as exchangeable plug-ins.
Lack of interoperability: Although there are ongoing standardization efforts, the interoperability of heterogeneous SOA environments is very limited today. As an example, a BPEL code can usually not be executed across different SOA environments. Rather than introducing yet another new SOA platform, the SOA Runtime Framework introduces a new abstraction layer and allows developers to create adapters to existing SOA platforms.
Lack of SOA deployment on embedded systems: The vast majority of the currently existing SOA environments is exclusively targeted at enterprise environments and demands a considerable amount of memory and processing resources. The SOA Runtime Framework takes a different approach in that all components could potentially be replaced by alternatives with a smaller footprint which renders it equally well suited for both enterprise environments and resource-restricted embedded and mobile devices.