Wrapped Services

Europeans have a new way of looking at software that may well change web-based services for good. It all began when The Economist predicted in 2003 that someday applications would no longer be software operated by your own PC, but would instead be accessed through application servers through the web. Somehow, this made perfect sense: applications are great for e-learning and manufacturers, but no one thought to coordinate all these varied services through internet technology and organize the wealth of applications into some semblance of organization.

Now the Sensoria project, with funding from the EU, hopes to address this situation. Part of the plan is to evaluate the issues inherent in software development, for instance adaptability, dependability, security, and costs. 

Wrapped Services

The premise of this project is that web services exist in a kind of permanent chaos. It would be nice if elements could be added so that they could be termed as "wrapped services." The only way to do this is to orchestrate the services through intercommunication. This isn't just a question of exchanging information. There must be a unified agreement on how exchanged data is to be understood. This is according to the coordinator of the Sensoria project, Prof. Martin Wirsing who is affiliated with the Institute for Informatics at Munich's Ludwig-Maximilians University.

Greek To Me

Wirsing likens this task to journeying to China without knowing any Chinese. Wirsing explains that you can show your taxi driver a slip of paper on which your destination is written in the native tongue, but if that paper is missing details or the handwriting is illegible, the journeyer is in trouble.

For this reason, Sensoria designed Software Development Environment (SDE) a system that uses graphic design tools in order to produce services. In this way, one ends up with a service that can be sought out and used by other services. SDE is complicated, but works well in its ultimate goal for being adaptable enough to work with other services. Sensoria has worked hard to give SDE an easy-to-use interface.

Sensoria stands for: "Engineering of software systems for service-oriented overlay computers." Those working on the project had to develop all new mathematical systems and methods in order to make Sensoria receptive to the needs of users at large while remaining stable and dependable. The project required a raid on the finest European institutions in order to cull the best brain-power possible for coming up with solutions for coordinating service applications.

The main focus of the project was to change services so that they might function at a higher level. These changes are called "compositions" or "orchestrations." Wirsing explains that such orchestrations can then generate new services which can also function as higher-level compositions. Wirsing asks us to imagine an orchestral composition. By combining various instrument groups, the composer is able to create layers and textures to the sound which are by nature more complex and sophisticated than any single instrument might produce.