Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Jason Bloomberg, Elizabeth White, Karthick Viswanathan, Cameron Van Orman, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Microservices Expo

Microservices Expo: Article

The Smart Money's on OASIS BTP

The Smart Money's on OASIS BTP

By now we've all heard a fair bit about Web services, a lot of hype and few hints that there's something really innovative going on here. Trudge round any developer conference and you'll hear the chatter of eager developers wanting to roll together a host of disparate Web services into the most fantastic and powerful applications the enterprise has ever seen.

Composing enterprise applications out of Web services is a hot topic, but the practicalities of building real applications out of Web services are a world apart from the sales-speak and hyperbole that we've heard so far.

Web Services: Some Home Truths
While Web services are beautifully simple and intuitive, with a really gentle learning curve, their simplicity belies a more troublesome implementation. Since the Web services model is so simple, much of the richness (and complexity) that we've been used to in previous enterprise architectures isn't there for us to draw upon ­ or at least not yet.

Enterprise developers are going to be given a hitherto unparalleled world of choice in terms of the components they'll use, and component suppliers will have to compete on criteria like cost, performance, and functionality. Better still, significant effort is going into improving the whole infrastructure on which the Web services architecture rests, like increasingly robust application servers and reliable transports like IBM's HTTPR. This all sounds like it should make a great platform ­ and it does, mostly.

With increasingly robust back-end and transport technologies, and plenty of component choice, it would seem that Web services really might be the silver bullet for enterprise computing. There is, however, a dark cloud hanging over this otherwise beautiful horizon: developers will now need to routinely support activities that span multiple Web services across multiple enterprises. This raises the rather prickly issue of how to maintain consistency among these components. While this isn't a new problem, it's a new one for Web services.

A New Hope: OASIS BTP
About a year ago, some people from a range of vendors with similar concerns got together under the umbrella of the OASIS Business Transaction Protocol (BTP) initiative. Like me, these people spent their days worrying that application developers were going to write software that spanned multiple business systems, and wanted to ensure that these systems would work reliably.

The result of this effort is a draft standard for transactioning in loosely coupled environments like Web services. OASIS BTP is an innovative, extended transaction model designed to allow work to progress even in the presence of failures ­ a significantly different take on the problem compared to the EJB or JTS transactioning we've been used to, where failure of any aspect is the undoing of the whole transaction.

While BTP is a lengthy and intricate work, it is predicated upon two fundamental constructs: the Atom and the Cohesion.

  • BTP Atoms are similar to atomic transactions. The difference is that Web services participating in BTP transactions aren't usually owned by the initiator and thus atomicity via strict two-phase locking can't be guaranteed. However, Web services participating in an Atom are guaranteed the same outcome as all other participants.
  • Cohesions allow business logic to dictate which combination of participants can fail or succeed, while permitting the transaction as a whole to make forward progress ­ this allows the transaction to proceed even in the event of failures.

    BTP provides the necessary underpinning for conducting activities of real value over Web services, but at a cost. Web service developers will have to make their services BTP-aware using one of a number of BTP toolkits ­ such as HP Web Services Transactions. There's also a learning process associated with both BTP and the various BTP toolkits. The benefits far outweigh the costs, however, since Web services that support BTP implicitly benefit from being kept in step with other Web services involved in your business.

    How to Ruin an Enterprise Application...
    If you really want to ruin a good Web services­based application, then simply ignore the matter of maintaining consistency among your partners', suppliers', and customers' Web services. Stand back and watch as your systems annoy anyone and everyone you do business with by sending them different, conflicting signals with no arbitration. Don't believe me? Just wait until you've "shipped" your first out-of-stock item that the credit card company couldn't authorize, with a courier that can't deliver. Now scale that to the Web ­ scary, isn't it?

    ...and How Not To
    You guessed it. Where business transactions between multiple parties carry some intrinsic value, they must be supported by transactions. For Web services, BTP is the runaway leader in what's currently a one-horse race ­ it's a simple bet, isn't it?

  • More Stories By Jim Webber

    Dr. Jim Webber is a senior researcher from the University of Newcastle
    upon Tyne, currently working in the convergence of Web Services and Grid
    technologies at the University of Sydney, Australia. Jim was previously
    Web Services architect with Arjuna Technologies where he worked on Web
    Services transactioning technology, including being one of the original
    authors of the WS-CAF specification. Prior to Arjuna, Jim was the lead
    developer with Hewlett-Packard on the industry's first Web Services
    Transaction solution. Co-author of "Developing Enterprise Web Services -
    An Architect's Guide," Jim is an active speaker and author in the Web
    Services space. Jim's home on the web is http://jim.webber.name

    Comments (0)

    Share your thoughts on this story.

    Add your comment
    You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

    In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


    @MicroservicesExpo Stories
    With the modern notion of digital transformation, enterprises are chipping away at the fundamental organizational and operational structures that have been with us since the nineteenth century or earlier. One remarkable casualty: the business process. Business processes have become so ingrained in how we envision large organizations operating and the roles people play within them that relegating them to the scrap heap is almost unimaginable, and unquestionably transformative. In the Digital ...
    Is advanced scheduling in Kubernetes achievable? Yes, however, how do you properly accommodate every real-life scenario that a Kubernetes user might encounter? How do you leverage advanced scheduling techniques to shape and describe each scenario in easy-to-use rules and configurations? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr, will answer these questions and demonstrate techniques for implementing advanced scheduling. For example, using spot instances ...
    These days, APIs have become an integral part of the digital transformation journey for all enterprises. Every digital innovation story is connected to APIs . But have you ever pondered over to know what are the source of these APIs? Let me explain - APIs sources can be varied, internal or external, solving different purposes, but mostly categorized into the following two categories. Data lakes is a term used to represent disconnected but relevant data that are used by various business units wit...
    DevSecOps – a trend around transformation in process, people and technology – is about breaking down silos and waste along the software development lifecycle and using agile methodologies, automation and insights to help get apps to market faster. This leads to higher quality apps, greater trust in organizations, less organizational friction, and ultimately a five-star customer experience. These apps are the new competitive currency in this digital economy and they’re powered by data. Without ...
    Today most companies are adopting or evaluating container technology - Docker in particular - to speed up application deployment, drive down cost, ease management and make application delivery more flexible overall. As with most new architectures, this dream takes significant work to become a reality. Even when you do get your application componentized enough and packaged properly, there are still challenges for DevOps teams to making the shift to continuous delivery and achieving that reducti...
    With the rise of DevOps, containers are at the brink of becoming a pervasive technology in Enterprise IT to accelerate application delivery for the business. When it comes to adopting containers in the enterprise, security is the highest adoption barrier. Is your organization ready to address the security risks with containers for your DevOps environment? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Chris Van Tuin, Chief Technologist, NA West at Red Hat, will discuss: The top security r...
    The nature of the technology business is forward-thinking. It focuses on the future and what’s coming next. Innovations and creativity in our world of software development strive to improve the status quo and increase customer satisfaction through speed and increased connectivity. Yet, while it's exciting to see enterprises embrace new ways of thinking and advance their processes with cutting edge technology, it rarely happens rapidly or even simultaneously across all industries.
    Most of the time there is a lot of work involved to move to the cloud, and most of that isn't really related to AWS or Azure or Google Cloud. Before we talk about public cloud vendors and DevOps tools, there are usually several technical and non-technical challenges that are connected to it and that every company needs to solve to move to the cloud. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Stefano Bellasio, CEO and founder of Cloud Academy Inc., will discuss what the tools, disciplines, and cultural...
    Enterprises are moving to the cloud faster than most of us in security expected. CIOs are going from 0 to 100 in cloud adoption and leaving security teams in the dust. Once cloud is part of an enterprise stack, it’s unclear who has responsibility for the protection of applications, services, and data. When cloud breaches occur, whether active compromise or a publicly accessible database, the blame must fall on both service providers and users. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben Johnson, C...
    21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
    ‘Trend’ is a pretty common business term, but its definition tends to vary by industry. In performance monitoring, trend, or trend shift, is a key metric that is used to indicate change. Change is inevitable. Today’s websites must frequently update and change to keep up with competition and attract new users, but such changes can have a negative impact on the user experience if not managed properly. The dynamic nature of the Internet makes it necessary to constantly monitor different metrics. O...
    Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
    Many organizations are now looking to DevOps maturity models to gauge their DevOps adoption and compare their maturity to their peers. However, as enterprise organizations rush to adopt DevOps, moving past experimentation to embrace it at scale, they are in danger of falling into the trap that they have fallen into time and time again. Unfortunately, we've seen this movie before, and we know how it ends: badly.
    There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
    Many organizations adopt DevOps to reduce cycle times and deliver software faster; some take on DevOps to drive higher quality and better end-user experience; others look to DevOps for a clearer line-of-sight to customers to drive better business impacts. In truth, these three foundations go together. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 21st Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, industry experts will discuss how leading organizations build application success from all...
    The last two years has seen discussions about cloud computing evolve from the public / private / hybrid split to the reality that most enterprises will be creating a complex, multi-cloud strategy. Companies are wary of committing all of their resources to a single cloud, and instead are choosing to spread the risk – and the benefits – of cloud computing across multiple providers and internal infrastructures, as they follow their business needs. Will this approach be successful? How large is the ...
    You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
    The “Digital Era” is forcing us to engage with new methods to build, operate and maintain applications. This transformation also implies an evolution to more and more intelligent applications to better engage with the customers, while creating significant market differentiators. In both cases, the cloud has become a key enabler to embrace this digital revolution. So, moving to the cloud is no longer the question; the new questions are HOW and WHEN. To make this equation even more complex, most ...
    "NetApp's vision is how we help organizations manage data - delivering the right data in the right place, in the right time, to the people who need it, and doing it agnostic to what the platform is," explained Josh Atwell, Developer Advocate for NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
    One of the biggest challenges with adopting a DevOps mentality is: new applications are easily adapted to cloud-native, microservice-based, or containerized architectures - they can be built for them - but old applications need complex refactoring. On the other hand, these new technologies can require relearning or adapting new, oftentimes more complex, methodologies and tools to be ready for production. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, Solutions Marketi...