Monday, December 27, 2004

Diploma Thesis - Web Application Design

A Component Framework Based On Web Services

Web Services are an XML-based set of technologies to enable remote function calls over about any web-related transport protocol like HTTP, SMTP or FTP. As it is a specification based on the maxim of extensibility and customizability this technology is also suitable for communication across platforms and programming languages. The key feature that both IT analysts and the businesses put their hopes on is the possibility of supporting the automation of business processes even across company borders and the aggregation of these processes to complete workflows that follow the mechanism of recursive composition which means that a workflow itself can be exposed as a business process to be reused within a more comprehensive system.

All concepts of Web Services are based on standards that are developed and confirmed

by consortiums of independent organizations like the W3C and OASIS consulted by the

industry leaders of infrastructure and ERP software like Microsoft, IBM, SAP, VeriSign and many more. While the terms of service location, registration, data transportation across systems, formatting and embedding into other protocols has been dealt with successfully, security, transaction and meta-descriptive standards have yet to be finalized.

On the basis of this scenario this document develops a concept of a distributable,

scalable, reusable and extensible component architecture that uses Web Services as its foundations. The theoretical model is then implemented using the server-sided scripting language PHP that itself has become the most popular server-sided scripting language for web-related purposes over the last three years. The component architecture thereby adds a model for business logic, encapsulated within distributable entities to the overall concept of multi-tiered application design, like it is popular with enterprise level applications built on the foundations of e.g. J2EE, Microsoft .NET or SAP NetWeaver.

The applicability of the concepts and the model presented is proved through both

example implementations of the basic features and a case study that creates a context

for a Web Service based application.

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