In most organisations much of the work is done in teams involving several persons on a single task. Today's electronic tools mostly aim to support a single user only. The cooperative working process is either not supported at all, or users are forced to cope with uncomfortable mechanisms like "user locks". The goal of TRANSCOOP is to develop a cooperative transaction management scheme based on a requirement analysis of selected application scenarios. The scheme consists of a language and a toolset for specifying cooperative tasks, a transaction model that guides the realisation of the database support for the language, formalisms that make it possible to precisely analyse properties of the specifications, and cooperative transactions executing concurrently in the environment.
APPROACH AND METHODS
The research effort proposed for TransCoop addresses and stimulates scientific and technical problems at two levels:
- Design support for collaborative activities by a new specification language which combines well-founded state-of-the-art data modelling techniques for non-distributed systems with process modelling techniques for interoperable, heterogeneous systems.
- Processing support for cooperative transactions which correspond to collaborative activities in an application.
This will be done by utilising results and prototypes of GMD-IPSI and U. Twente. The specification language to be developed will be based on a combination of TM and LOTOS. The processing support for cooperative transactions will be derived from the VODAK open nested transaction model, which already utilises semantics of operations. The formal correctness of the specification language and the correct implementation of specifications by the cooperative transaction processing support will be shown formally. A prototype including a demonstrator will be designed and implemented to demonstrate the concepts. Components of existing prototypes of TM, LOTOS and VODAK open nested transactions will be used for the implementation.
Utilising a high level specification language and database technology in terms of a cooperative transaction model will make it much easier to design and construct collaborative environments. Availability of such basic mechanisms will have serious impact on the construction of cooperative tools. The results of TransCoop will be exploited by small spin-off IT companies, and each partner will use the results of the project for subsequent research and development. The results are to be made known to standardisation bodies, whenever appropriate. In particular, ISO/SWG-EDI is a relevant body to be informed.
7500 AE Enschede