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Subject: Re: [soa-rm] Requesters vs. Consumers

We originally wanted to use the term *legal entity* to represent the 
'owner' of the agent(s) participating. However, we were advised by 
W3C's legal whatever that this was not a good choice. (Too politically 
charged apparently); there was also the possibility of an un-owned 
agent participating (the mind boggles a bit at this). However, in 
common usage, legal entity includes people and corporations.

This is a tricky area, on the one hand it seems blinkered to pretend 
that we are not designing systems for and on behalf of people. On the 
other hand, taking people fully into account seems to take us into 
realms where our expertise is not appropriate.


On Mar 31, 2005, at 5:17 PM, Thomas Erl wrote:

> It's probably a good time to think about which term we should use to
> represent the potential element responsible for invoking or initiating 
> a
> conversation with a service acting as the service provider. Regardless 
> of
> whether this becomes an "official" element within our reference model, 
> we
> will likely need to reference such an element in our documentation.
> Below are some considerations we can take into account:
> - Both of the position papers submitted so far incorporate the term
> "consumer". This term is also used in the ebSOA specification.
> - The W3C Web Services Architecture document submitted by Frank McCabe 
> uses
> the term "requester" and further qualifies it by suffixing it with 
> "entity"
> or "agent" to represent the owner and software program respectively. 
> (Prior
> to the current version of the W3C Working Note, this document used the 
> term
> "service requester" instead of "requester agent".)
> - The W3C Web Services Glossary does not provide a definition for 
> "consumer",
> but defines "requester agent" as follows: "A software agent that 
> wishes to
> interact with a provider agent in order to request that a task be 
> performed
> on behalf of its owner - the requester entity."
> - The term "requester agent" is used in the W3C WSDL 2.0 specification,
>  whereas "consumer" is used in the WSDL 1.1 version.
> - The definitions document submitted by Rebekah uses the term 
> "requester",
> most likely because the initial set of definitions were provided by 
> Frank.
> Given that we are seeking industry-wide acceptance of our reference 
> model,
> there may be a benefit to keeping our terminology in alignment with 
> terms
> already in use by established (albeit implementation-specific)
> specifications. I personally have no preference, but I do recommend we
> decide on one term and then consider adding a definition to our 
> glossary. We
> may want to leverage some of the work performed by the W3C Working 
> Group and
> decide whether we also need separate terms to distinguish owner from
> implementation.
> On a related note, we have not yet discussed the concept of a service 
> or
> service agent assuming provider and requester/consumer roles. Such a 
> concept
> would also affect our definitions.
> Thomas

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