Building Highly Dependable Wireless Web Services

Building Highly Dependable Wireless Web Services

Wenbing Zhao (Cleveland State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/jeco.2010100101
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In this paper, the authors introduce Web services technology and its applications to mobile business transactions. This paper shows that the Web services technology is a powerful tool to build next-generation e-Commerce applications for wireless mobile devices following the service-oriented architecture. Such an approach would bring significant benefits to organizations involved with e-Commerce. The authors further discuss the importance of ensuring high dependability of Web services and provide a literature review of state-of-the-art techniques that are critical to the implementation of practical and dependable wireless Web services. Finally, research on the design, implementation, and performance evaluation of a fault tolerance framework for wireless Web services are described.
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Electronic commerce or e-Commerce in short, refers to the selling and buying of products and services over electronic systems, which such as the Internet (Chaudhury & Kuilboer, 2001). E-Commerce has grown to a 100 Billion per year business and it is expected to continue growing with a staggering speed (Scheleur, King, & Kinyon, 2008). This article touches on two emerging issues related to e-Commerce: (1) e-Commerce over wireless mobile devices, and (2) the use of the Web services technology for e-Commerce systems. A Web service refers to a programmatic interface accessible by other applications via the World Wide Web (W3C, 2008). The Web services technology typically refers to the set of standards that enable Web services (more details will be provided in the next section).

We expect that many next generation e-Commerce systems will be built using the Web services technology and most of them will provide support for wireless mobile devices (by providing and enabling the consumption of wireless Web services). However, there exist substantial technical challenges in materializing this vision. In this article, we focus on one of the most important of challenges, i.e., how to ensure high dependability of wireless Web services provided by such systems. The reason why high dependability becomes a major concern for e-Commerce providers and users alike is primarily due to the high financial cost associated with unreliable services. Services are expected to be highly dependable 24 by 7 and the unavailability of a service not only disrupts many end-users of the service, but the composite services built on top of the service as well. Extensive downtime would often mean massive loss of revenue, loss of employee productivity, and eventually the reputation of a business (Patternson, 2002).

This article is structured as follows. In the next section, we introduce the Web services technology and elaborate the benefits of using the Web services technology for conducting e-Commerce over mobile devices. We then layout the primary challenges for the Web services technology to support wireless mobile devices, and provide a literature review of the state-of-the-art solutions towards the objective. This is followed by the presentation of our research on dependable wireless Web services, including design, implementation and performance evaluation. Finally, we conclude the article and point out future research directions.

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