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Example for creating linked data 4.5. Reuse with Security for REST and SOA As you learned, reuse is the central idea within the WebComposition approach. Therefore, we enable another WebComposition component, the Identity Federation System (idFS), as an optional security component along with the WebComposition/DGS. The idFS provides a well proved security infrastructure based on the active and passive requestor profiles of the WS-Federation specification [25]. The idFS provides mechanisms to access Web services and resources through security token service access control and identity providers, single sign on and federating components, i.e. accessing resources across organizational boundaries [26, 27, 28]. The idFS system is based on a role based system where permissions and restrictions are based on a fine grained security system. While idFS follows the WSFederation specification and thus can be applied immediately to SOA-based scenarios, we use SSL encryption for REST-like architecture styles using the HTTP protocol. The idFS allows us to define groups and to issue tokens for special purposes. This includes for instance granting rights to certain resources, rights for a certain time or rights for a certain number of actions. Issued tokens describe the roles a user is member of. For the WebComposition/DGS we specify the rights following a bottom-up approach. Rights are defined for any anonymous request first, which means when a request does not contain any tokens at all. In the following, we define additional users and roles to grant specific rights on resources. Hence, you can, for example, hand out trial access (such as access limited in time or number of read/write requests). The important point here is to realize the idFS as an optional component. If not required, the WebComposition/DGS can be used without any security concepts at all. If required, the idFS can be
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GET /dgs HTTP/1.1
Martin Gaedke1
1Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany
Faculty of Computer Science
Andreas Heil1,2
2Microsoft Research, UK
Computational Science Group
During the last years, the asset costs for storage
have been decreasing continuously. Coincidentally, the
demand to create and publish data in the Web has
grown in an unprecedented manner. Within the
Web 2.0, the user became an active part by creating,
publishing, changing and annotating data and its
related metadata in a wide variety of new kinds of
applications. Many data management but also
architectural decisions for such applications are
driven by distribution and semantic aspects. In this
paper, we present how the WebComposition Data Grid
Service (WebComposition/DGS) emerges new kinds of
data-centric applications as a REST-architectural style
component within the context of Web 2.0 but also
satisfies requirements within traditional SOA-based
business scenarios.
1. Introduction
Within the idea of Web 2.0, data is a substantial
factor [1]. Architectural decisions are based on
distributed and semantic aspects about data, its related
metadata and its overall availability but also
accessibility. Competitive advantages arise through
data, the way it is generated and the way it is made
available. A typical characteristic of the data is that a
large amount of it is created by the users themselves.
Some of the best known and commonly used
representatives are eBay auctions, Amazon reviews,
Flickr photostreams, scrobblings or Twitter
feeds. This data is not created by an editorial team but
rather by the users directly. Consequently, this has led
to a vital change of the digital identity of users in the
Web. Originally, the user’s homepage was the one and
only place where all information was stored and
published, since it was the only place where the user
typically gained write access in the Web. Nowadays,
the digital identity of a user is scattered all over the
Web. Photos are hosted with Flickr, news articles are
posted on a weblog such as Blogger, microblogging
and instant messaging is achieved through Twitter
feeds, links are archived within and contact
details are stored in social network portals such as
LinkedIn or Plaxo (see Figure 1). Various portals such
as Facebook or MySpace provide functionality to mesh
up this scattered data into one single Web page or a
Web site as substitution for the personal homepage.
While the data of a user formerly resided on this
dedicated, central place where he was allowed to create
data, it is now conflated from multiple data providers,
possibly stored in data formats the user has no direct
influence on.
Figure 1. Digital identity through multiple data providers
The usage of this distributed, heterogeneous data
sources is rather limited. If ever, each data provider
offers a different way of interacting with the stored
data in other applications. This circumstance makes the
efficient development of applications based on those
data sources often very unpredictable, if not
impractical at all. The question now is how to interact
with the data, how to link the data from the various
data sources in a meaningful way to each other and
how to reuse this data in other applications.
In this paper we discuss the WebComposition Data
Grid Service (WebComposition/DGS) component. Our
main contribution here lies in its capability to
implicitly manage metadata based on Semantic Web
M. Gaedke and A. Heil, "GET /dgs HTTP/1.1 Host:," 2009 42nd
Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2009, pp. 1-10,
standards as first-class constructs. We will especially
focus on the capability to use this metadata and to
make use of the concept of linked data within different
architectural styles. Subsequently, we discuss the
extensible core elements of the WebComposition/DGS
that allow a high degree of reuse to reduce
development costs of systems dealing with metadata,
irrespectively of the underlying architecture style.
2. Motivation and Background
2.1. Example Scenario
During a code review, Clark, a software engineer in
an international software company came along with an
idea for a tool to increase the productivity within his
team. To make this tool available to all team members,
he decided to make this tool available within the
company’s intranet. He set up a Web server and wrote
this little, Web-based application in his spare time. At
this time, the Web-server’s address was known only by
his team members and Clark did not care a lot about
security. Also, the tool stored all the data in plain text
files, since Clark simply did not want to spend too
much time on this.
Several weeks later, during an internal architecture
review of the company’s latest product, he accessed the
tool via his Web browser to show the information that
was requested from him. Several colleagues became
very curious about that tool, they had never seen
before. They realized the added value by this tool and
asked Clark, if their teams might use it as well. Clark
was flattered and agreed. He also realized that the tool
was not capable of dealing with multiple data sets from
different teams. So he spent a remarkable portion of his
spare time to change the tool’s way of dealing with
data. At this point he thought a database might be a
good solution to dealing with the increasing amount of
Once he was contacted by the manager of the
internal tools division, who asked Clark to make this
tool available to all employees within the company.
This increasing degree of awareness also required
some additional functionality to deal with security
aspects since not all users should have been able to see
all the projects managed by this tool. Clark had to
implement additional functionality. Luckily, a
developer from the internal tools division supported
Clark to modify the tool to use the company’s internal
user directory.
During the annual review, the company realized
that the tool caused an incredible increase in
performance within the various product groups. The
management thus realized the potential of this tool and
that it might be an appropriate supplement to the
company’s portfolio of Web-based services. Hence,
they decided to offer this as a new service. Based on
the company’s user directory, a fixed integration with
the storage solution, a data structure that was fitted
with the company’s internal operations and the
integration into several in-house products, the tool had
to be redesigned and newly developed, which caused
not to be underestimated costs for the company. The
results were the great idea behind the tool and a well
designed system that however, did not succeed on the
market for a long time.
The difference was indeed, that the tool, as long as
developed and used in-house, underwent a permanent
evolution. Since it was Web-based, it is not possible to
roll-out new versions of the tool on a regular basis.
Changes have been introduced gradually. Hence, it
adapted to new requirements and technologies. While
Clark was aware of other in-house products and their
related data formats and metadata, he developed plug-
ins that enabled the tool to connect to various other
tools used by the product groups. The service offered
by the company was however not capable to integrate
with many other tools. In fact, the easy extensibility
and in particular, the integration with other tools, was
the secret of the success of Clark’s tool.
2.2. Data & Semantic
Based on [2], we define a catalogue of essential
aspects and relations among these structures to be
considered when designing a data-centric Web-based
Data: The creation, maintenance and handling of
data must be easy and reliable. Storing the data in a
corresponding data storage and simple querying the
data are key features, which the solution must provide.
The underlying technology must not restrict the user in
terms of content to be stored and should provide the
possibility of different views on the data. Changes or
further developments in the underlying data processing
and storage solutions should not affect already
established applications based on the service.
Systematic creation and structuring of data:
While in the context of Web 2.0 flexibility is eligible,
the systematic creation of structured data is required to
address business-scale scenarios, where the integrity of
data is indispensable. In certain cases, the user might
be forced to adopt a specific structure for the data, e.g.
for constraining structures and content or for validating
the data. The systematic creation and structuring of
data, thus allows defining how symbols can be
Metadata: Metadata is required to describe the
data itself. It must be provided in a machine-readable
format. The metadata must provide information for
understanding what one needs to know about data
received from other sources, in order to proceed
intelligently with the data. Also metadata is required to
provide meanings of syntactically valid collections of
Linked Data: Data needs to be identified,
published and linked. Based on its metadata, useful
information has to be provided for connecting data.
Similarly appears the idea of links in HTML
(especially automatically generated trackbacks and
pingbacks in the weblog domain): data and data clouds
must be connected for lookups and traversing the data.
Metadata is thus required to step through the data.
Security: Security aspects are important for
applications within a personal scope up to business-
scale scenarios. Applications dealing with personal or
business data must guarantee both the integrity of the
data itself and the protection of privacy. The absence
of a security mechanism, e.g. in a business
environment, might result in financial risks for the
particular company and is thus a key requirement for
the particular solution.
Reuse and Integration: The reuse of the
components includes easy deployment, extensibility of
the system, and the avoidance of one-off efforts. How
easy can the solution to be used in already existing
solutions and how much effort is required to achieve
this, are key factors, especially in the Web 2.0 context,
which must be considered carefully. It is important that
a solution supports the reuse of existing data and
provides capabilities needed to integrate components
within the context of another application and within
different architectural styles.
3. The WebComposition Approach
The WebComposition system was first introduced
during the WWW6 conference in 1997 [3] as an
object-oriented approach, especially for the discipline
of Web Engineering [4] and in contrast to the
discipline of traditional Software Engineering. The
WebComposition approach was continuously
developed up to today, where it abstracts the
development and evolution of Web-based applications
that are composed out of Web components. The
WebComposition approach describes only the
development and evolution process, the concept of
composing and reusing Web components, but does not
address the concrete technology applied to create the
The Web components used to create a Web-based
solution address different perspectives of an
application: the content-perspective includes aspects
related to data and semantics, the UIX perspective
contains aspects related to the user interface experience
and the DSA perspective contains especially aspects
related to distributed system and architecture behavior.
The two core concepts of the WebComposition
approach focus especially on two different perspectives
of reuse. The development of Web components for
reuse focuses on the creation of units that implement a
certain perspective or corresponding aspects and, on
the other hand, the development of solutions by reusing
existing Web components to create complete Web
applications/systems by composing existing Web
components. To develop the WebComposition/DGS, as
a central component of the 4th Generation of the
WebComposition approach, we also applied the
lessons learned from our previous work, the
WebComposition Service Linking System and the
therefore developed CRUDS-Service [5, 6].
3.1. WebComposition/DGS
The WebComposition/DGS is especially designed
to meet today’s requirements for developing
distributed application in the Web, especially following
the concept of Representational State Transfer (REST)
architecture style. REST refers a set of constraints that
define the distributed architectural style [7]. Resources
are addressed using unique identifiers to which access
is given through a uniform interface. In contrast to a
service-oriented architecture, manipulation of
resources is performed through stateless interaction
with their representations. The most common REST-
based architecture is the Web itself, using the HTTP
protocol to provide a uniform access to resources [8].
The WebComposition/DGS allows to put new ideas
into practice very easily by using these REST
principles but also common SOA-based approaches.
We find multiple interfaces for different scenarios:
while facing the particularities of Web 2.0 and taking
into account the standards of the Semantic Web, the
WebComposition/DGS is furthermore designed to be
also applied in traditional business scenarios.
Figure 2. WebComposition/DGS corner pillars
The core interfaces (cf. Figure 2) provided are (i) a
HTTP-based interface to be used within REST-like
architecture styles, (ii) a simple XML/RPC interface to
be used in simple ad-hoc implementation and (iii) a
SOAP interface, supporting document/literal SOA-
based architectures suitable for most business
Designed to be suitable for a variety of application
scenarios, the WebComposition/DGS comes as a
modularized component [9] that can be easily extended
and adapted for specific needs. Before showing
example scenarios where the WebComposition/DGS is
already successfully applied in productive system, we
discuss the key functionality of the
WebComposition/DGS regarding the various aspects
already identified in Section 2.2.
4. WebComposition/DGS Internals
In this section we will discuss the core features of
the WebComposition/DGS. We will especially focus
on the usage within REST-like architecture styles;
however, the described functionality is accessible also
through the provided SOAP and XML-RPC interfaces.
4.1. In Direct Touch with the Data
Regardless of whether we are facing a service-
oriented architecture [10], a REST- like architecture
style [7] or merely an unconstrained architecture, we
always deal with the concept of resources when
looking at a Web-based application/system. Therefore,
we enforce a strict usage of Uniform Resource
Identifiers (URI) [11] within the
WebComposition/DGS. Each resource created,
regardless whether data or metadata, can be accessed
via its strictly composed URI such as depicted in
Figure 3 below.
Container Data Itemhttp://
Figure 3. WebComposition/DGS URI concept
Each WebComposition/DGS service represents a
container for one or many information stores. An
information store is the access point, at which users
can add and query data. One could understand an
information store as a list or set, where related data is
logically grouped together. Within an information
store, each data item stored in it can be accessed via its
own URI. For each of the concepts (container,
information store and data item) the key path segment
meta can be concatenated to access the related
4.2. Create and Structure Data
In some ad-hoc scenarios, the user might create
data in a quite easy fashion as Clark did in our example
during his initial approach in Section 2.1. On the other
hand, sophisticated business scenarios might require
the creation and validation of structured data.
The WebComposition/DGS component supports
both scenarios: Data is processed by a so-called data
adapter (cf. Figure 4). This exchangeable component
of the WebComposition/DGS is the core element for
creating and manipulating data.
Data Adapter
Data only
Data + Schema
Storage solution
Input Filter
Output Filter
Meta Connector
Figure 4. WebComposition/DGS data adapter concept
The concept of the data adapter is based on two
major features: (i) Extensibility allows to create own
data adapters for new kinds of data. For the current
version of the WebComposition/DGS, data adapters for
XML and HTML are already provided. Additional data
adapters however can be developed and specified via a
configuration file (cf. Figure 5). (ii) Customization of
data adapters via input and output filters. Filters
specify the format of data as well as the kind of
accepted data. Additional filters can be developed and
specified via the configuration file. Hence, the system
can be simply reconfigured if new requirements arise.
This even allows specifying an output format different
from the original input format and thus provides a high
flexibility regarding the data representation.
Transforming the data to or from the internal
representation of the data adapter is incumbent upon
the corresponding filter.
The provided XML data adapter supports creation
of both, structured and unstructured data. As such, ad-
hoc scenarios can be realized very easily. Regarding
the interface for REST- like architecture style, the
HTTP verbs are used as follows:
GET queries a resource at the given URI. The
representation of the resource depends on the output
filter specified in the configuration file of the
WebComposition/DGS instance. By specifying a
accept HTTP-header in the corresponding HTTP-
request, we indirectly specify which data adapter to
use. However, the concept of the data adapter is
transparent to the client that simply requests any
resource from the service. If no accept header is
specified, the WebComposition/DGS applies the
default data adapter.
POST allows for the creation of new information
stores on non-existing URIs. The XML data adapter,
which is the default adapter provided in the current
WebComposition/DGS implementation, accepts a XSD
schema send along with this request. The schema is
then used to validate the data added to this newly
created information store. Additional settings regarding
the validation of the data can then be applied by adding
further metadata as we will see in Section 4.3 below.
New data items are added using PUT on the
information store’s URI. The content-type specified in
the HTTP-header specifies which data adapter is used
to create the data item. Data items, but also complete
information stores, can be deleted by sending DELETE
to the corresponding URI.
The SOAP interface can be used for
document/literal SOA to achieve the same
functionality. However, the functionality here is
contained in the SOAP message, rather than in the
protocol semantic. To allow easy integration with
already existing SOA systems, a SOAP adapter is
specified equivalent to the procedure of the data
adapter connecting to data adapter (cf. Figure 5).
Hence, the WebComposition/DGS can be easily
customized to fit into already existing SOA-based
systems, while reusing existing components within the
<metaData inputNotation="RDF/N3"
Figure 5. Example data adapter configuration
4.3. Metadata is Data
Following [12], we understand metadata as first
class resource within the WebComposition/DGS.
Therefore, metadata can be accessed via its dedicated
URI. Data and metadata are treated as open data and
open metadata (i.e. you have access to all data and
metadata you create).
By default, all metadata is stored in the format of
the Resource Description Framework (RDF). This
comes in handy for two reasons: at first, due to the
strict URI concept within the WebComposition/DGS,
each resource (including metadata) is identified by its
URI. Therefore, each resource can appear in a RDF
triple as subject and/or object. This especially allows
us to use metadata to describe metadata again.
Secondly, RDF data is machine readable and
accessible by a wide audience. Also the complexity of
the metadata is not restricted, e.g. compared to the
Exchangeable Image File (EXIF) metadata [13]. It is
useful, that additional information can be simply added
by inserting additional RDF triples. By default, each
created resource is supplemented with the Dublin Core
[14] metadata, stored as RDF triples as well. These 15
standardized attributes are used to describe and classify
Web resources using common characteristics of
resources. This information base is supplemented by
the WebComposition/DGS metadata vocabulary. This
data differs for each resource type and can be extended
through data adapters. The container instance provides
information about the contained information stores, an
information stores again provides additional
information about the contained data items such as
content-types and item count. Additional metadata
might be generated through the data adapter processing
the data. For instance, it might be useful to extract
EXIF metadata contained in images and store it
directly as metadata with the corresponding resource
when uploading digital photos to a
WebComposition/DGS service.
Resource Settings
Dublin Core Metadata
Meta Vocabulary
User-Specific Metadata
Figure 6. WebComposition/DGS information stack
Data Adapter
Data Adapter
Meta Store Subscription
Data Adapter
Web Service
SOAP Adapter
SOAP Adapter
SOAP Adapter
HTTP Client
Web Browser
DGS Client
Figure 7. WebComposition/DGS component interactions
A further aspect within the WebComposition
information stack (cf. Figure 6) is the CRUD-Event
metadata. CRUD stands for create, read update and
delete and describes the core operations performed on
data [15]. Each operation on a resource is thus tracked
and stored as CRUD metadata. This is especially
helpfully in addressing the question of provenance,
since the representation in RDF is already suitable to
process the information [16]. If we consider this, the
CRUD-Event metadata also addresses the issues of
provenance in SOA-based systems [17] in general.
Easy access to the events is granted through CRUD-
Event RSS feed as depicted in Figure 8. By publishing
the events to the feed, arbitrary clients can subscribe to
the feed and monitor activities on the data. As
metadata is understood as a first class resource,
additional, user-specific metadata can be added in the
same way as data itself. Also for metadata, we can
specify different input and output filters (cf. Figure 5).
By default, the WebComposition/DGS supports
RDF/XML and Notation3 (N3) as metadata formats.
Additional filters can be created and specified.
RSS Feed
Figure 8. CRUD-Event RSS feed
Finally, the WebComposition/DGS information
stack provides the possibility to store settings for
resources, such as the service itself. Settings usually
describe the behavior of a system or a resource. Since
everything within the WebComposition/DGS is
understood as a resource, settings are stored as
metadata describing this resource. We will
subsequently discuss the usage of metadata for settings
based on two common settings of the
As the WebComposition/DGS supports the creation
of structured data, the XML data adapter supports the
validation against XSD schemas (cf. Section 4.2). It is
possible to change the scope of the validation by using
the settings to no validation at all, validating the
submitted data (a-priori validation of the data) or
validation of the complete XML structure (a-posteriori
of the data after inserting into the XML structure). The
default validation, applicable for any newly created
information store, is set in the configuration file as
seen in Figure 9 below.
<dataG ridServi ce>
<defaultSchemaScope scope="None"/>
</dataGri dServi ce>
</webCom positi on>
Figure 9. Default schema validation
Using the N3 input filter, the default settings can be
changed by putting the metadata through a simple
HTTP-request to the information store’s URI
containing the N3 statement in Figure 10 below. By
adding this metadata, we can simply set the validation
for a particular information store to the a-priori
validation described above.
@prefix dm: http ://www.w ebcomp osition. net/dgs/ meta/.
<http:// vsr-data>
dm:schem aScope
„Element “.
Figure 10. Schema validation metadata in N3 notation
As we can see in Figure 3, each data item within an
information store provides its own URI. To address
data items within a information store we apply the
concept of URI templates [18]. To illustrate this
concept we assume that the XML data for the
information store http://vsr-data.cs.tu- is structured as seen in Figure 11
<?xml vers ion="1.0" en coding="ut f-8"?>
<firstNa me>Andre as</fi rstName>
<title>D ipl.-Inf orm.</ti tle>
<office>1/B204</office >
</pe rson>
<name>Gaedke</name >
<firstNa me>Martin</first Name>
<title>Prof. Dr.Ing.</title>
<office>1/B319</office >
</pe rson>
</people >
Figure 11. Example information store data
In our example we want to address the data items
(i.e. the person elements) via URIs such as http://vsr- and http://vsr- To do so, we
use an URI template that specifies the URI we require
as well as a XPATH expression mapping the requested
data to the specified URI. The corresponding URI
template, as it is submitted, is shown in Figure 12.
@prefix dm : http:/ /www.web composit t/dgs/me ta/.
<http:// vsr-data.c>
dm:urlTemplate [meta:url "people/{value}";
dm:xPath "/peo ple/pers on[name= '{valu e}']" ].
Figure 12. URI template in N3 notation
It is important to know that all URIs specified for
resources serve also as unique identifiers to address the
resource in a SOA-based scenario using e.g.
document/literal SOAP.
4.4. Linking Data and Metadata
By combining data and metadata we address the
challenges identified in Section 1 how to link data to
each other in a meaningful way. The concepts
introduced so far help us in achieving this goal. If we
apply the WebComposition/DGS as component in a
merely SOA-based system, each resource is still
identified by its own URI. Hence, all resources can be
referenced transcending the boundaries of information
stores when creating linked data [19].
Data as well as metadata are combined by
specifying a XSL transformation. A depiction of the
process how the data is combined is given in Figure 13.
Hence, not only the metadata but also the data itself are
provided in a machine-readable format. Data from
different information stores as well as the
corresponding metadata is combined by specifying a
XSL transformation to combine and format the data.
Data Adapter
Meta Store
Metadata Data
XSL Transformation
from further
Information Store
Linked Data
Figure 13. WebComposition/DGS linked data
For instance, we can use the contact details out of
our information store for people seen before, add
metadata such as geospatial information and combine
this information with project and publication data
stored, to create machine-readable Friend-Of-A-Fried
(FOAF) files using the RDF technology [20]. For both
projects and publications we already use location
information (e.g. about the project or conference
location) that again can be used for creating the linked
data. As there is no common security concept for
REST-like architecture styles, various approaches are
applied for different scenarios. In the majority of cases
we will see the usage of HTTPS using SSL encryption
for point-to-point encryption and authentication. The
Backpack API [21] extends this by sending a 40-byte
SHA1 hash token along with the request content to
authenticate the user. The Amazon S3 [22, 23] also
uses a standard challenge-response approach by
sending a token, the so-called AWS Access Key ID.
along with the HTTP-request as a supplementary
HTTP-header. In addition, a signature in the form of a
HMAC-SHA1 [24] token is created and included to
ensure authentication of the request. Both, the AWS
Access Key ID as well as the signature are also used
for SOAP-based invocation of the service.
Image from
Information Store
Contact from
Information Store
Project data from
Information Store
Figure 14. Example for creating linked data
4.5. Reuse with Security for REST and SOA
As you learned, reuse is the central idea within the
WebComposition approach. Therefore, we enable
another WebComposition component, the Identity
Federation System (idFS), as an optional security
component along with the WebComposition/DGS. The
idFS provides a well proved security infrastructure
based on the active and passive requestor profiles of
the WS-Federation specification [25]. The idFS
provides mechanisms to access Web services and
resources through security token service access control
and identity providers, single sign on and federating
components, i.e. accessing resources across
organizational boundaries [26, 27, 28].
The idFS system is based on a role based system
where permissions and restrictions are based on a fine
grained security system. While idFS follows the WS-
Federation specification and thus can be applied
immediately to SOA-based scenarios, we use SSL
encryption for REST-like architecture styles using the
HTTP protocol. The idFS allows us to define groups
and to issue tokens for special purposes. This includes
for instance granting rights to certain resources, rights
for a certain time or rights for a certain number of
actions. Issued tokens describe the roles a user is
member of. For the WebComposition/DGS we specify
the rights following a bottom-up approach. Rights are
defined for any anonymous request first, which means
when a request does not contain any tokens at all. In
the following, we define additional users and roles to
grant specific rights on resources. Hence, you can, for
example, hand out trial access (such as access limited
in time or number of read/write requests). The
important point here is to realize the idFS as an
optional component. If not required, the
WebComposition/DGS can be used without any
security concepts at all. If required, the idFS can be
deployed and configured afterwards. This can also
happen during the evolution of the system as it was
required within our initial example in Section 2.1
where Clark’s had to implement user access.
The idFS is currently deployed and actively used on
various sites such as the IT-Management and Web
Engineering Research Group’s site [29], the Web
Engineering community portal [30] as well as the
portal of the International Society for Web Engineering
[31]. Resources offered by WebComposition/DGS
instances deployed within further organizations thus be
made accessible to the sites already supporting idFS in
a very convenient way, without the need of creating
and managing additional user profiles or logins.
This introduced concept allows us to use one
WebComposition/DGS instance in both SOA-based
scenarios as well as in Web 2.0 scenarios based on a
REST-like architecture styles. Access to the data is
thus not restricted due to any architectural decisions.
5. Related Work
Several commercial approaches currently become
noticeable to deal with the new requirement of
creating, storing and publishing large amounts of data.
The Amazon S3 [22, 23] and the Amazon SimpleDB
[32] provide functionality to store, process and query
data over the Web. The services provide the basic
functionality of databases. Both services provide
SOAP and HTTP interfaces for service-oriented and
REST-like architecture styles. While designed for
relatively small amounts of data, the SimpleDB is also
publicized as storage for metadata for a corresponding
Amazon S3. While the WebComposition/DGS is
designed as a Web component, the Amazon S3 as well
as the SimpleDB are hosted exclusively by the
corresponding provider while the service itself is sold.
In contrast, Microsoft’s ADO.NET Data Services
[33] is an extension to Microsoft’s .NET Framework
and can be understood as additive component to the
.NET Framework. The ADO.NET Data Services
include a set of patterns to interact with data by using
HTTP, addressing resources and linking data among
services. This approach lines up well with the REST-
like architectural style. In addition, the ADO.NET Data
Services also provides a RPC-like interface. Being one
of the approaches, which meets the requirement of a
REST-like architecture style as defined in [7] the most,
the ADO.NET Data Services are on the other hand
especially designed to connect to Microsoft’s SQL
Server and are thus bound to a single data provider.
Backpack [21] also provides basic functionality to
store and maintain data in the form of lists such as
notes, images and files on the Web with a strong focus
on visual representation. A HTTP-based interface is
complemented by a set of wrappers for multiple
programming languages to access the service. Similar
to Amazon’s approach, Backpack is merely offered as
a commercial service. It is also not designed to support
SOA-based scenarios as the WebComposition/DGS
The WebComposition Service Linking System
CRUDS service [5, 6, 34] is a generic, SOAP-based
service to store, manipulate and publish data. As a
predecessor of the WebComposition/DGS, many ideas
influenced the design of this component. However, the
CRUDS service does not provide the flexibility of the
WebComposition/DGS and is a purely SOAP-based
Web service.
Menagerie [35] is a relatively young software
framework targeting similar issues as the
WebComposition/DGS, such as combining data
scattered across multiple data providers in the Web and
manipulating this data with standard applications. In
contrast, this approach focuses on personal data
specifying the Menagerie Service Interface and the
Menagerie File System. The WebComposition/DGS
however also targets business-scale scenarios and
provides a higher flexibility. As such, the support of
idFS as security infrastructure component for the
WebComposition/DGS is optional. The
WebComposition approach does not restrict the system
to any of its components. Google’s OpenSocial [36]
focuses especially on social network data and defines
an API that allows any social network platform to host
third party social applications. Also, the Goolge Data
API [37] defines a more general approach by providing
a set of simple APIs for reading and manipulating data
on the Web.
While some of the features of the
WebComposition/DGS are closely related to the
previously mentioned systems, it is unique with its
combination of implicit usage of metadata,
extensibility through its component based approach,
and transparent usage within different architectural
styles suitable for both, REST-like architecture style
based systems in the context of Web 2.0 and SOA-
based business scenarios.
9. Summary and Outlook
In this paper, we presented the WebComposition
Data Grid Service (WebCompostion/DGS) as the first
component of the 4th generation of the
WebComposition approach. The data dispersion within
the Web, e.g. seen when personal data is used to create
ones digital identity, introduces new issues in
maintaining and meaningfully linking data on the Web.
The WebComposition/DGS addresses these issues with
the consequent application of Web technologies, WS-*
specifications, standards from the semantic Web and a
design that provides a high flexibility in terms of reuse,
extensibility and customization. The
WebComposition/DGS appears to be a component
suitable for REST-like architecture and SOA style-
based systems and even allows integrating systems of
different architecture styles. We showed the Web
component-based approach based on the Identity
Federation System (idFS) that provides a well-
established security infrastructure component for the
WebComposition approach.
Beside using the WebComposition/DGS as central
component of the Distributed and Self-organizing
Systems Group at Chemnitz University of
Technology’s Web application, the component is
recently applied in multiple research project. Among
others we are currently working on additional data
adapters for common data types, an information flow
system, based on the WebComposition/DGS and the
integration of additional security infrastructure
The WebComposition components, demos and
additional documentation are accessible through and
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Full-text available
This Reference Model for Service Oriented Architecture is an abstract framework for understanding significant entities and relationships between them within a service-oriented environment, and for the development of consistent standards or specifications supporting that environment. It is based on unifying concepts of SOA and may be used by architects developing specific service oriented architectures or in training and explaining SOA. A reference model is not directly tied to any standards, technologies or other concrete implementation details. It does seek to provide a common semantics that can be used unambiguously across and between different implementations. The relationship between the Reference Model and particular architectures, technologies and other aspects of SOA is illustrated in Figure 1. While service-orientation may be a popular concept found in a broad variety of applications, this reference model focuses on the field of software architecture. The concepts and relationships described may apply to other "service" environments; however, this specification makes no attempt to completely account for use outside of the software domain.
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