WSAT: A Tool for Formal Analysis of Web Services

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Abstract

This paper presents Web Service Analysis Tool (WSAT), a tool for analyzing and verifying composite web service designs, with the state of the art model checking techniques. Web services are loosely coupled distributed systems communicating via XML messages. Communication among web services is asynchronous, and it is supported by messaging platforms such as JMS which provide FIFO queues to store incoming messages. Data transmission among web services is standardized via XML, and the specification of web service itself (invocation interface and behavior signature) relies on a stack of XML based standards (e.g. WSDL, BPEL4WS, WSCI and etc.). The characteristics of web services, however, raise several challenges in the application of model checking: (1) Numerous competing web service standards, most of which lack formal semantics, complicate the formal specification of web service composition. (2) Asynchronous messaging makes most interesting verification problems undecidable, even when XML message contents are abstracted away [3]. (3) XML data and expressive XPath based manipulation are not supported by current model checkers.