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SEPL—a domain-specific language and execution environment for protocols of stateful Web services


In order to interact with stateful Web services, clients need to obtain information about the intra-service protocol, which contains valid operation sequences and the expected input-output transformation across invocations. While the community has widely agreed on WSDL as the standard for functional service description (the “static” service interface), there is still an evident lack of languages to describe the dynamic, behavioral interface of services. In this paper we introduce SEPL (SErvice Protocol Language), a domain-specific language (DSL) for defining executable intra-service protocols. Notable features of the DSL include support for WS-Addressing and simple creation of new Web service instances, synchronous and asynchronous service invocation facilities and easy access to WSRF-style service resource properties. Service providers use SEPL to define the procedure that clients must adhere to in order to achieve a certain higher-level functionality. Clients use the combined information of the SEPL document and the WSDL definitions to execute an intra-service protocol. We provide a graphical representation of SEPL the form of UML Activity Diagrams, and tools to generate executable code from these models. We further present a solution to host and execute SEPL protocols in a server application based on Web services technology.

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Correspondence to Waldemar Hummer.

Additional information

Communicated by Amit Sheth.

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Hummer, W., Leitner, P. & Dustdar, S. SEPL—a domain-specific language and execution environment for protocols of stateful Web services. Distrib Parallel Databases 29, 277–307 (2011).

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  • Web services
  • Intra-service protocol
  • Stateful Web services
  • Domain-specific language
  • Service Protocol Language
  • SEPL