Model Driven Service Description and Discovery Framework for Carrier Applications
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The most dominant architecture in the contemporary business domain is Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). The large number of the existing service description and discovery systems available today, including the ones proposed in research proposals, reveals an increasing need for adaptive, semantically enriched and context-aware, wide-area service discovery. This need will become more intense in the years to come as the number of available services increases rapidly. The main reason behind the existence of a plethora of such systems is that before these initiatives, the standard in service discovery was taking into account only the syntactic descriptions of the services, causing conflicts when services, with similar syntactic descriptions, needed to be evaluated. The research solutions available today offer efficient and accurate discovery at the syntactic, functional semantic and non-functional semantic level. However, the problem is that there is no general consensus yet regarding service discovery. Research by its very nature, leads to point solutions rather than complete systems. Based on these observations, we propose an adaptive service description and discovery framework for carrier applications, enabling the model-driven specification of services and client profiles, and also, for allowing the dynamic configuration of the services to meet specific quality requirements defined by the clients. The framework was implemented in the context of Model Driven Development, to ensure platform independence at the level of the specification of services. The framework takes the union of the point solutions offered by research proposals in the area of service description and discovery, creates an abstract model, and can compile that model to platform specific code. More specifically, services for carrier applications can be specified in a platform independent way both in terms of service signatures (syntactic properties) and in terms of the functionality and the QoS service characteristics (semantic properties). A model transformation framework allows for the creation of a platform specific model for the description of services in a specific technology platform (e.g., Web services). The framework is extensible to accommodate future extensions. In addition, as a proof of concept, we designed and developed an Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP) prototype tool, implementing our proposal.