Friday, 12 September 2008

Next generation service platforms

The EU is initiating a call regarding next generation service platforms the coming year. It is not yet clear what they should do, however, there are some initial ideas. For example, they should support dynamic service configuration. What does this imply? What types of services should be configured? Are we looking at business or application services?

Most IT suppliers tend to look at application services. These will allow a user to dynamically create mash ups with mechanisms like supported by Google or Yahoo Pipes. Users can select services dynamically, but might have to enter data several times for each service. Service orchestration is done by the user.

What we really need is dynamic business process configuration of application services that support a business service requested by a user. The request may be interactively entered on a website or might be a message. A request needs to be matched with offered business services and a business process needs to be configured. It involves many aspects, e.g. business service mediation (matching a request to offered services), semantic mediation (semantics need to be mapped) and behavior mediation (a new choreography needs to be constructed for a user specific business service request). These issues are not yet addressed in current standards; those deal with other types of more IT oriented mediation questions linked to ESBs. We really need alignment of business services with IT services and dynamic processing of user specific service requests.

In case you agree (or really don't agree) with my point of view, let me know. Mash ups and pipes are really primitive examples of dynamic process composition.