Connected Services Framework: A System of Web Services

Connected Services Framework
Connected Services Framework: A System of Web Services

Connected Services Framework provides enterprises with a system of Web services that manages inherent issues such as identity management, profile management and service discovery. It also provides standard business events (Web services that facilitate interaction with enterprise-wide business systems). For example, telecommunications domains refer to these enterprise-wide business systems as OSS (Operation Support Systems) and BSS (Business Support Systems). After the users, devices, services and enterprise-wide support systems are set up as part of the CSF environment, the enterprise can focus on creating multiple business services, their aggregations and collaborations. With each new Web service added to the environment, the possibilities of new business orchestrations and collaborations increase manifold. As time to market decreases, the competition increases, and enterprise roles change, the ability to deploy, change and manage new services in the least time becomes a necessity for service providers.

Connected Services Framework Component Functions

CSF components provide the following functionality:

  • Session Management—Management of the Session (collaboration context or multiple contexts). Session acts as the base element and enables all of the other capabilities to be realized. Each collaboration context consists of Web services (participants) that come together to form a business collaboration.
  • Identity Management—In today's environment, each service typically holds a representation of the user. For example, a user may have a unique identifier at Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, MSN, work, home, school, wireless provider, wireline provider, DSL provider, and so forth. As administrative domains and application domains are now aggregated into composite applications, the user's unique identifier must be mediated to ensure that all the environments execute in the context of the individual user. This may mean unique identifiers must be mapped, federated, or synched to deal with the issue. This issue is best handled at the collaboration level rather than the orchestration level (which should focus on the business logic associated with the composite application).
  • Content-based Routing—The WS-I specifications provide for a means to deliver messages based on content. The CSF Session component plays this role of ensuring that messages are routed to the correct services.
  • Transient Participants—The concept of transient participants (devices, users and services) is essential in order to realize the true potential of a collaborative mechanism. Transient participants join and leave business collaborations on a basis of need. Transient devices are becoming the norm in today's commercial environments. More and more operators want a cross-device experience for services, with the ability to "bring" a device into a service context to offer the best experience. RFID and proximity devices are becoming part of many commercial scenarios. This means transient devices appear within a context, emit events and then disappear. This is best supported by a collaborative mechanism rather than a sequenced task-based approach. Transient users are very common in multimedia communication applications that require users to collaborate within a context where participants appear and disappear.

    By applying the same conceptual idea to services, transient services become a reality. This provides new possibilities. For example, a user can introduce his or her bank as a payment service of choice into a transaction with an online merchant. The base mechanism and the technology used for collaboration is the same as that required for a user, a device, or a service because all of these entities are represented as participants that emit and consume messages within a collaborative context.
  • Standard Business Events Management—A Standard Business Event (SBE) application is one between the Connected Services Framework and business applications. This type of interface application is common in many large-scale enterprise applications. Large companies with many business applications may benefit by using SBE applications as an interface to CSF. This approach can increase flexibility and reuse. It can also be a practical way to integrate legacy business applications with the Connected Services Framework components that are Web services.
  • Well Enabled Service Templates in a Service Network—A Well Enabled Service (WES) is a service that can support all the aspects of FCAPS (Fault, Configuration, Accounting, Performance and Security) provided by the WES template. A WES implements the interfaces suggested in the WES toolkit.