November 27 - December 1, 2006

Middleware for Service Oriented Computing

MW4SOC Workshop of the
7th International Middleware Conference 2006

November 28, 2006
Melbourne, Australia


Program - Workshop Committee - Important Dates - Proceedings


Workshop Overview

Service-Oriented Computing (SOC) is an emerging computing paradigm utilizing services to support the rapid development of distributed applications in heterogeneous environments. The visionary promise of Service-Oriented Computing is a world of cooperating services being loosely coupled to flexibly create dynamic business processes and agile applications that may span organisations and computing platforms and can nevertheless adapt quickly and autonomously to changes of requirements or context. Consequently, the subject of Service Oriented Computing is vast and enormously complex, spanning many concepts and technologies that find their origins in diverse disciplines like Workflow Management Systems, Component Based Computing, "classical" Web applications, and Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) including Message Oriented Middleware. In addition, there is a strong need to merge technology with an understanding of business processes and organizational structures, a combination of recognizing an enterprise's pain points and the potential solutions that can be applied to correct them.

Middleware, on the other hand, is defined as the software layer that lies between the operating system and the applications on each site of the system in a distributed computing system (ObjectWeb consortium). More generally, the term is used to describe Web servers, application servers, content management systems, and similar tools that support the application development and delivery process. Middleware is the enabling technology of Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) and consequently integral to service-oriented computing. Current middleware in general is challenged to support adaptivity and dependability while maintaining scalability and mastering complexity. Of course dependability and adaptivity can not simply be added to a system like a plug-in module. Rather, middleware needs architectural principles and sound methodologies, as well as appropriate container services, service coordination and composition standards, and possibly consideration of software aspects to help application developers to integrate their services with a configurable distributed middleware instead of re­inventing the wheel each time.

While the immediate need of middleware support for Service-Oriented Architectures (SOA) is evident, current approaches and solutions mostly fall short by primarily providing support for the EAI aspect of SOC only and do not sufficiently address composition support, service management and monitoring. Moreover, non-functional properties (like dependability and security) and Quality of Service (QoS) need to be addressed not only by interfacing and communication standards, but also in terms of integrated middleware support. But what makes these issues so different in a SOA setting? Why - for instance - is traditional middleware support for transaction processing different to transaction processing in SOA, reflecting different types of atomicity needs? One answer lies in the loose coupling, high dynamicity and flexibility during run-time, enabled by a significant increase of meta-data, like explicit requirement- and constraint-negotiation during run-time.

However, loose coupling is not always the best approach to solve a particular problem. In order to temporarily allow for a stronger (traditional) form of coupling (like group membership agreement) of a set of services, the middleware also has to provide explicit and configurable means to change between different forms of coupling and communication paradigms. This will enable service-based applications to take the best from both worlds by dynamically adjusting the coupling of the composed services.

The highly dynamic modularity and need for flexible integration of services (e.g. Web service implementations) may require new middleware architectures. These considerations also lead to the question to what extent service-orientation at the middleware layer itself is beneficial (or not). Recently emerging "Middleware as service"-offerings from the open source community support this trend. However, providing end-to-end service-level agreements (SLA), dependability, and autonomic capabilities in a heterogeneous, dynamic, potentially cross-organizational SOA is a particular challenge and the limits and benefits have still to be investigated.



9h15 - 10h45: Session 1: SOC and middleware: Re-use versus new challenges

  • Keynote: Research challenges for middleware for SOC
    Boualem Benatallah)

    The emerging next-generation technologies, centered on the concept of services, promise to enable interactions and efficiencies that have not been experienced before. The main benefits that the services paradigm brings to business processes integration and automation are (i) support for loosely coupled interactions and (ii) standardization, at many different levels. This talk outlines some of the significant achievements and opportunities in middleware support for service-based applications. We will examine interoperability and flexibility challenges in service-oriented architectures as well as middleware support and services lifecycle intelligence.

  • Middleware Support for Auditing Service Process Flows
    (Hakan Hacigumus)

  • What Service Replication Middleware Can Learn from
    (Johannes Osrael, Lorenz Froihofer, and Karl M. Göschka)

10h45 - 11h15: Coffee break

11h15 - 12h30: Session 2: Adaptivity, context-awareness, and self-properties

12h30 - 14h00: Lunch

14h00 - 15h15: Session 3: Quality of service

15h15 - 15h45: Coffee break

15h45 - 16h15: Closing session


Workshop co-chairs

Karl M. Göschka (chair)
Vienna University of Technology
Institute of Information Systems
Distributed Systems Group
Argentinierstrasse 8/184-1
A-1040 Vienna, Austria
Phone: +43 664 180 6946
Fax: +43 664 188 6275
Karl dot Goeschka (at) tuwien dot ac dot at

Schahram Dustdar
Vienna University of Technology
Institute of Information Systems
Distributed Systems Group
Argentinierstrasse 8/184-1
A-1040 Vienna, Austria
Phone: +43 58801 18414
Fax: +43 58801 18491
Dustdar (at) infosys dot tuwien dot ac dot at

Frank Leymann
University of Stuttgart
Institute of Architecture of Application Systems
Universitätsstraße 38
D-70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Phone: +43 58801 18414
Fax: +43 58801 18491
Frank dot Leymann (at) informatik dot uni-stuttgart dot de

Stefan Tai
IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
19 Skyline Drive
New York 10532, USA
Phone: +1 914 784 7981
stai (at) us dot ibm dot com

Organisational Chair

Johannes Osrael
Vienna University of Technology
Institute of Information Systems
Distributed Systems Group
Argentinierstrasse 8/184-1
A-1040 Vienna, Austria
phone: +43 1 58801 58409
fax: +43 1 58801 18491

Program Committee

  • Gustavo Alonso, ETH, Zurich (Switzerland).
  • Mark Baker, independent consultant (USA).
  • Boualem Benatallah, UNSW (Australia).
  • Francisco Curbera, IBM (USA).
  • Wolfgang Emmerich, UC London (UK).
  • Pascal Felber, Université de Neuchâtel (Switzerland).
  • Harald C. Gall, Universität Zürich (Switzerland).
  • Yanbo Han, ICT Chinese Academy of Sciences (China).
  • Manfred Hauswirth, EPFL (Switzerland).
  • Valérie Issarny, INRIA (France).
  • Mehdi Jazayeri, Università della Svizzera Italiana (Switzerland).
  • Bernd Krämer, University of Hagen (Germany).
  • Mark Little, JBoss (USA). 
  • Heiko Ludwig, IBM Research (USA).
  • Rui Oliveira, Universidade do Minho (Portugal).
  • Maria Orlowska, UQ (Australia). 
  • Fernando Pedone, Università della Svizzera Italiana (Switzerland).
  • Jose Pereira, Universidade do Minho (Portugal).
  • Bruno Schulze, National Lab for Scientific Computing (Brazil).
  • Steve Vinoski, IONA (USA).
  • Eric Wohlstadter, University of British Columbia (Canada).


Important Dates