10 March 2015

Distributed Computing - New Trends

Distributed information systems are becoming more popular as a result of improvements in computer hardware and software, and there is a commensurate rise in the use of the associated technologies. Because of the increasing desire for business-to-business (B2B) communication and integration, technologies such as Service-Oriented Computing (SOC), Semantic Web, Grid, Agents/Multi-agents, peer-to-peer, etc., are receiving a high level of interest nowadays.

As a part of distributed information systems, web information systems play an important role in the modern, ubiquitous Internet world and the applicability of Web Services as a particular implementation of SOC has been widely recognized for current B2B integration (e.g. e-commerce, e-government and e-healthcare).

However, building all aspects of Web Services comprehensively needs further improvement, for instance, Quality of Service (QoS) has yet to be properly addressed. Likewise, the detection of service availability to achieve self-healing in the invocation process, service reuse, how best to define atomic services, and service composition are all issues that urgently require more research.

Meanwhile, it should be noted that Web Services play only a partial role in evolving distributed information systems. With the development of future computer hardware, software and business requirements, many other technologies will probably emerge that will serve particular business goals better. Therefore, much recent research has been focusing not only on individual technologies in distributed systems, but also on the possibility of combining currently available technologies to improve business outcomes.

We concentrate mainly on Web Services and technical issues associated with current Web Services standards, but we also give a brief overview of three other distributed technologies, namely Grid, agents and Semantic Web, which can work with Web Services. Thus, it concentrates initially on the background of services in distributed information systems, then it introduces Grid, agent and Semantic Web technologies.

After that, it discusses several technical aspects of Web Services in current distributed information systems, in particular, general Web Service availability and performance issues and the possibility of combining agent technology and Web Services to provide improved understanding of service availability. We then introduce JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), which may provide an alternative to current approaches that will deliver better Web Service Performance and discuss service composition, illustrating it with an implementation from the EU Living Human Digital Library (LHDL) project

Read my next post for part-2

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