Grid Service Orchestration Using the Business Process Execution Language (BPEL)
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- Emmerich, W., Butchart, B., Chen, L. et al. J Grid Computing (2005) 3: 283. doi:10.1007/s10723-005-9015-3
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Modern scientific applications often need to be distributed across Grids. Increasingly applications rely on services, such as job submission, data transfer or data portal services. We refer to such services as Grid services. While the invocation of Grid services could be hard coded in theory, scientific users want to orchestrate service invocations more flexibly. In enterprise applications, the orchestration of web services is achieved using emerging orchestration standards, most notably the Business Process Execution Language (BPEL). We describe our experience in orchestrating scientific workflows using BPEL. We have gained this experience during an extensive case study that orchestrates Grid services for the automation of a polymorph prediction application. Using this example, we explain the extent with which the BPEL language supports the definition of scientific workflows. We then describe the reliability, performance and scalability that can be achieved by executing a complex scientific workflow with ActiveBPEL, an industrial strength but freely available BPEL engine.