Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Interoperability Between Oracle and Microsoft Technologies, Using RESTful Web Services - BPEL

A guide to developing REST Web services using the Jersey framework and Oracle JDeveloper 11g follows.

RESTful Web services are the latest revolution in the development of Web applications and distributed programming for integrating a great number of enterprise applications running on different platforms. Representational state transfer (REST) is the architectural principle for defining and addressing Web resources without using the heavy SOAP stack of protocols (WS-* stack). From the REST perspective, every Web application is a service; thus it's very easy to develop Web services with basic Web technologies such as HTTP, the URI naming standard, and XML and JSON parsers.

For a detailed account of how to create RESTful Web services by using Oracle technologies such as Oracle JDeveloper 11g, the Jersey framework (the reference implementation of the JAX-RS [JSR 311] specification), and Oracle WebLogic Server as well as how to consume the Web service by using Microsoft technologies such as Visual Studio .NET 2008 and the .NET 3.5 framework, click here.

Building a Web Services Network with BPEL - Caveat Emptor

Buoyed by maturing Web service standards, more and more organizations are using Web services in a collaborative environment. BPEL is fast becoming the platform for orchestrating these Web services for inter-enterprise collaboration. As discussed in earlier posts in this blog, BPEL offers the compelling benefits of a standards-based approach and loosely-coupled process integration to companies building an online marketplace or collaborative network.

Yet the exciting new capabilities offered by Web services carry some risk. In many cases, partner relationships break down or integration costs skyrocket if certain technical and administrative challenges are not addressed at design time:

* Partners must agree well in advance to conduct business according to specific criteria. Transport protocol, purpose of the interaction, message format, and business constraints have to be communicated clearly.

* Joining the network has to be an easy process; collaborative networks become successful mainly through growth.

* Users must easily find business services at runtime, or the promise of services-oriented architecture (SOA) is largely lost. (Service repositories are useful for this purpose.) If developers cannot readily find and reuse services, the services essentially don't exist.

* Partners should have the ability to monitor Web services in real-time. End users should be able to track the progress of a specific order, and trading partners diagnose a specific bottleneck within a business process.

These challenges are exacerbated when a collaborative network operates in a hosted environment. In that model, partners expose the functionality provided by their legacy applications into a Web service. This Web service is published into a centralized repository. The host is responsible for orchestrating the complex business processes, which in turn, leverage partner Web services.