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Pattern-based Architectures for Service Interaction

Final Activity Report Summary - PARIS (Pattern-based Architectures for Service Interaction)

Service industries provide potentials to carry out customised interactive value-added processes within areas such as finance, mobility, healthcare etc. together with and for the benefit of clients. In terms of producing such services, it has been argued that organisational requirements to provide configurable, interactive and immaterial service processes are best met by virtual organisation principles. Respective virtual service enterprises are temporal organisational networks that abandon institutionalised network management in favour of information and communication technology (ICT) as enabling factor that allows for dynamic identification, initiation, negotiation operation and liquidation of service production networks on a per-request basis.

One particular challenge concerns flexible regulation and agile enforcement of coordination rules for cooperative activities of service client(s) and providers in temporal service networks. In the PARIS research project, we have devised a solution to archive this by virtualisation of services themselves. A conceptual reference model explains how to coordinate a virtual service network by means of planning and controlling production of virtual services. These tasks can be effectively supported by ICT representations of virtual service processes (e-services) and structured methods for their planning and control (e-service management). We have developed an approach to realise such e-service technology by means of service-oriented software architecture (SOA) for e-services and service-oriented development methodology for e-service management.

In terms of e-services, we have developed a general service-oriented software architecture model that defines how software services can represent virtual business service processes. Furthermore, we have designed a formal e-service metamodel that defines details of workflow processes, software service composition and coordination patterns as well as business service interaction underlying our e-service abstraction. Based on the metamodel, we have defined a domain specific graphical specification language for e-service models that can be used to design and execute e-services in the course of planning and control of virtual business service processes.

In terms of e-service management, we have conceptualised an enterprise architecture framework to integrate e-service-management into the wider context of service enterprises. The framework defines an engineering approach to run virtual business service production networks by means of e-service technology. In particular, this includes an e-service development lifecycle that realises regulation and enforcement of coordination in virtual service enterprises. Following our development process, e-service design and execution regulates and enforces the coordination of clients and providers throughout planning and control of service production. We have developed a respective e-service management methodology and implemented a toolset that adopts our e-service SOA and includes a model-driven development tool chain as well as an execution platform based on common service and grid computing standards.