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Subject: service interaction [was: [soa-rm-ra] Follow-up to 7-5-08 Telecom]

So let me push this a little further now.

When I was working service description, I emphasized that description needed to be at the service level rather than the action level because otherwise it was difficult if not impossible to describe the policies, functions, and effects of a service.  Let me follow this logic and say the service interaction is that set of message exchanges under prescribed conditions that result in certain real world effects.  The conditions and effects are captured in the execution context.  The service interaction is then also defined at the service level and tightly bound to the execution context.  As such, I think the scope Michael required (i.e. beyond just the message channel) is covered.

Now to also respond to Frank's later response.  I don't think saying 

both actions and events are *initiated* through messages

really causes any problems and is probably more accurate per Frank's observation that the message to initiate the action will not result in the effect if the message doesn't get to the point of action.  Yes, sending the message that tries to initiate an action or indicate an event is the critical piece for nonrepudiation, but it does not touch the conditions of action unless that corresponds to an execution context.


+++ previous email +++

I think we handled the execution context okay.  The question now is whether (or when) a separate interaction occurs with each action or one interaction covers all actions within a process.

I'm currently wrestling with my wife's medical insurance and related open enrollment (non-US citizens living in countries with civilized medical systems, please stop laughing) and don't currently have the patience to offer an opinion.


On May 10, 2008, at 9:38 PM, Francis McCabe wrote:

Michael has a point about 'security in depth'. It is arguably better to encrypt the message than the channel.

This is completely independent, however, from the discussion on Execution Context.


On May 10, 2008, at 5:16 PM, Ken Laskey wrote:


If I had the chance to modify line 552, I would change SERVICE to SERVICE INTERACTION.  My interpretation is that the service being used is an element of the interaction, but the execution context in your example specifies not only the service but also critical elements of what it means to interact with the service when that interaction falls under UK jurisdiction.  So I acknowledge what you want to cover but think the service interaction accomplishes that.

Before I end, let me push on this from a different angle.  If a process model makes use of several actions, I can look at separate service interactions as being what is necessary to accomplish each action or as a single multi-step interaction needed to accomplish the process.  I don't believe we've ever clarified that, but I think my explanations lean toward the process interpretation.  We made need to pursue that to answer your question.


On May 10, 2008, at 7:05 PM, michael.poulin@uk.fid-intl.com wrote:

Ken and Danny,

while actions better be not assigned to execution context, it is NOT my point.

Ken used only one reference in RM to the executions context where the latter  is applied to "a service interaction". Here is another reference, where EC is applied to the service itself:

    551 In support of the dynamics of interacting with services are a set of concepts that are about
    552 services themselves. These are the service description, the EXECUTION CONTEXT OF THE SERVICE and
    553 the contracts and policies that relate to services and service participants.

In my original message I am saying that for the SOA service all security measures applied to the service interaction MUST apply to the service ITSELF also, to this or that degree; the SOA RA HAS to point to this, otherwise we are sending a wrong message to the community.

To achieve this consistent security view, I propose to replace words SOA-based message exchange by the words SOA-based systems in the section 5.2.7.  That is, I propose to extend security requirements onto the SOA eco-system; service interaction is an important but only a part of the SOA eco-system.

If you disagree with me, please, say this directly. Below, I am giving you a real-life example:
a fund management company accepts debit card payments via its Web portal; the portal is supported by SOA services (inside enterprise firewall), which process payments validation and store payment attributes (including debit card number, etc.) in its local databases for later settlement procedure. Currently, at least, in the UK, it is required that all payment attributes related to the card to be encrypted in certain way (in all data stores through the processing) defined by the PCI DSS standard (https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/tech/download_the_pci_dss.htm ). This protects sensitive card information from the tempering even inside the enterprise.

Thus, security of the service body/implementation is equally important as the security of the service interaction (via its interface). I hope, you get me right this time.

- Michael

Ken Laskey
MITRE Corporation, M/S H305      phone: 703-983-7934
7151 Colshire Drive                         fax:       703-983-1379
McLean VA 22102-7508

Ken Laskey
MITRE Corporation, M/S H305      phone: 703-983-7934
7151 Colshire Drive                         fax:       703-983-1379
McLean VA 22102-7508


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