A Model Driven Approach to Agent-Based Service-Oriented Architectures
Business process management has been identified as an interesting application area for agent technologies. Current developments in Web technologies support the execution of business processes in a networked environment. In this context, the flexible composition and usage of services in a service-oriented environment is a key feature. Additionally, the model-driven architecture (MDA) idea of transforming models on different abstraction levels, from highly abstract design-oriented views to an executable program, is a current trend in business process modeling. BDI agents provide a framework for both aspects by employing a planning from second principles approach, which uses a predefined library of plans and instantiates and adapts these plans. From this perspective, plans are design-time models for agent task execution and for Web Service composition. This paper presents a Rapid Prototyping framework for SOAs built around a Model-Driven Development methodology which we use for transforming high-level specifications of an SOA into executable artefacts, both for Web Services (WSDL files) and for BDI agents. The framework was designed to handle a mix of new and existing services and provides facilities for simulating, logging, analysing and debugging. Our framework was validated on a real industrial electronic procurement scenario in the furniture manufacturing industry. Once input from business experts had been collected, creating the high-level PIM4SOA (Platform Independent Model for SOA) model, deriving the Web service description and incorporating existing Web services took less than a day for a person already familiar with the techniques and tools involved. We show that rapid prototyping of SOAs is possible without sacrificing the alignment of the prototype with high-level architectural constraints.
KeywordsService Composition Business Process Management Model Drive Architecture Model Drive Architecture Soap Message
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