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Subject: RE: [ws-caf] deriving from RE: [ws-caf] Patent Issue(s)

Title: Message
Apologies for the confusion, I did type BTP when I meant Choreology.  But I think the argument is the same, whether the mapping is done at the endpoint or at the coordinator is an endless debate because both are valid solutions.
The multi-protocol issue is handled by a coordinator-coordinator protocol, which is the advantage of doing the mapping at the coordinator.  You can have multiple coordinators get involved in bridging otherwise incompatible protocols.
Sometimes I have the feeling that what Choreology is saying would be right, if only everyone would agree with you.  But that sounds like a tautology, and therefore Choreology should be open to debate -unless of course you firmly believe you will convince everyone that you are right!
-----Original Message-----
From: Furniss, Peter [mailto:Peter.Furniss@choreology.com]
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2003 4:47 PM
To: ws-caf@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: [ws-caf] deriving from RE: [ws-caf] Patent Issue(s)

I don't follow your description in the second paragraph below. Choreology (not BTP) are arguing that the protocols are essentially the same, and therefore there is no need to have multiple ones - mapping between them is rather easy and will only be necessary if future legacy has multiple ways of expressing the same thing.  If the coordinator does the bridging, it can only be valid if the protocols are equivalent. If the semantics are so different that the same community was forced to use different protocols, how can they be bridged ?
Or are you saying that a WS-CAF coordinator (for one transaction) might be simultaneously handling multiple protocols from the ws-txm family, using one p'col to some of the participants, a different one to others ?  In which case, it's just a question of whether that distinction is made by different messages or different qualifications of the same messages - different verbs or different adverbs.
-----Original Message-----
From: Newcomer, Eric [mailto:Eric.Newcomer@iona.com]
Sent: 11 December 2003 18:47
To: Green, Alastair J.; Mark Little; Guy Pardon; Greg Pavlik
Cc: Robin Cover; ws-caf@lists.oasis-open.org; alonso@inf.ethz.ch
Subject: RE: [ws-caf] Patent Issue(s)

Thanks very much for this analysis and comment on the patent issue.
With regard to the "confusion" betwen WS=T/WS-TXM and BTP proponents, I tend to describe it very differently.  Either you resolve the differences among transaction protocols and models at the endpoints (which BTP proposes to do by requiring them to all implement a common protocol) or you ask the coordinator to do the bridging at the "hub" or in this case the distributed hub. 
A good analogy for this debate is the transformation debate, whether it should be done at the hub, at the endpoints, or both.  I would say that the transformation argument isn't settled (and may never be) because both are important and "it depends" on what you're doing as to which solution, or combination of solutions is best.  That's what we're essentially saying in WS-CAF, use the solution that's right for the situation. Don't remove the "it depends" from the equation since you'll never settle the argument.
With regard to compensation, I'd refer everyone to the recent discussion at WS-BPEL.  Although I didn't attend and therefore am basing this only on the presentation, I'd have to say it looks like the problems with a purely compensation-based approach were highlighted.  What order do you process the compensations?  What happens when there's a failure in the compensation?  Do you compensate the compensation?  Does this affect the order?  Etc. 
Use the right tool for the right job, let's not say there's only one tool in the toolbox that's capable of doing anything valuable.
-----Original Message-----
From: Green, Alastair J. [mailto:Alastair.Green@choreology.com]
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2003 1:09 PM
To: Mark Little; Newcomer, Eric; Guy Pardon; Greg Pavlik
Cc: Robin Cover; ws-caf@lists.oasis-open.org; alonso@inf.ethz.ch
Subject: RE: [ws-caf] Patent Issue(s)



Thanks for notifying us all of this patent. I found it a very useful summary of loosely-coupled transactional issues.


I have to say that I question the novelty of the claimed “invention”, which seems (at a very hasty first reading) to boil down to interposition (transaction bridging) plus a global transaction id.


I believe that the following publications, products or standards very likely incorporate the key features of this “invention” and are prior art:





Transarc Encina


I suspect the Arjuna research project dating back to the late eighties may also incorporate features of relevance to the claim of invention. Mark would be better qualifed to comment than I.


I also believe that the innards of many transactional products, and the utilization patterns of databases to achieve high concurrency through application locking which are employed by thousands of end-users, will also betray many similar key features.


The cluster of problems that make application- (service-) level coordination difficult today for the assemblers of business processes which utilize interacting systems includes many issues which are just practical (integration with heterogeneous environments, usability etc). Much of the novelty of Business Transaction Management  (app-level coordination) is context-conceptual.


One aspect is getting over the equation of first use with all possible future uses.


For example: How can a protocol which is associated with ACID possibly possess an interface that is capable of being used for compensations? Of course, the XA control structure can be so used. Then, treat XA function names as message names and you have a distributed “interface” with the same capability … and so on, through all the permutations of two-phase. XAResource used for JCA is a useful case.


The second aspect is failure to abstract sufficiently.


People often confuse the form or the specific context with the essence. The difficulties that the proponents of WS-T and WS-TXM have with the notion that all the proposed interoperable outcome protocols (BTP, WS-T BA, WS-T AT, WS-TXM Acid, LRA and BP) are in fact versions of one underlying “Ur” protocol (optimizable two-phase outcome with qualifiers), in my view has its root in this type of failure. (Parenthetically, there is every reason to have contractual [or contract-referring] information exchanged in contexts attached to application exchanges: but that need does not transit to the coordination protocol).


Concretely, the biggest conceptual problem (and advance) of BTM standardization, is seeing compensation as one, special case of negative finalization of a high-level business transaction, coupled with the need to always have a positive finalizer (which in that one, special case will  “just” drop its persistent memory of the business transaction). Put another way: there is a higher-level abstraction (business transaction), which stands clear above the database transactions which are now driven by the business transaction.


Alastair Green


Choreology Ltd


Choreology Cohesions -- Business Transaction Management software for application coordination



-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Little [mailto:mark.little@arjuna.com]
Sent: 11 December 2003 03:25
To: Newcomer, Eric; Guy Pardon; Greg Pavlik
Cc: Robin Cover; ws-caf@lists.oasis-open.org; alonso@inf.ethz.ch
Subject: Re: [ws-caf] Patent Issue(s)


Apologies for any backlog of email responses, but I've been flying to XML 2003 today. Just to second Greg's email - LRA is based on Sagas and similar to Open Nested transactions.




Mark Little,
Chief Architect, Transactions,
Arjuna Technologies Ltd.


----- Original Message -----

Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 7:58 PM

Subject: RE: [ws-caf] Patent Issue(s)


On the surface, it does not seem to confict since it requires a specific implementation of Java classes and operations that create the transaction system, whereas the WS-CAF approach is to wrap or abstract the transaction systems (i.e. not to create one).

-----Original Message-----
From: Guy Pardon [mailto:guy@atomikos.com]
Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 1:32 PM
To: Greg Pavlik
Cc: Mark Little; Robin Cover; Newcomer, Eric; ws-caf@lists.oasis-open.org; alonso@inf.ethz.ch
Subject: Re: [ws-caf] Patent Issue(s)




FYI, here is the patent application's description:






On woensdag, dec 10, 2003, at 15:07 Europe/Brussels, Greg Pavlik wrote:


Well, the LRA model as I read it seems to be a relatively close mapping of sagas, which were as far as I know first described in 1987 by Garcia-Molina. I think it would be useful if someone took the action to provide a more detailed breakdown of what exactly is at issue for the group, because it's not obvious to me after a cursory review of the CheeTah papers.


Guy Pardon wrote:

Hi everyone,


The VLDB paper is attached. It describes composite systems in the CheeTah prototype (which served as the provisional application for the US patent).

Concerning WS-CAF, I think there may be some overlapping with the LRA model described in the TXM spec.


It was not my intention to raise panic and 'warn' anybody, rather just to point out that the patent exists (which is, I believe, required on behalf of TC members).




On dinsdag, dec 9, 2003, at 20:27 Europe/Brussels, Mark Little wrote:


Robin, thanks. I think a description from Guy about how he thinks any patent

relevant to this paper may conflict with WS-CAF is in order though. Many

companies have been doing composite applications/transactions for years so

I'd like to know what aspect of CheeTah may either impact WS-CAF now or in

the future. This is certainly the first I've heard of CheeTah so from an

Arjuna perspective it certainly didn't influence WS-CAF, but maybe Guy's

email is intended to just warn the TC in its future directions?




----- Original Message -----

From: "Robin Cover" <robin@isogen.com>

To: "Newcomer, Eric" <Eric.Newcomer@iona.com>

Cc: "Guy Pardon" <guy@atomikos.com>; <ws-caf@lists.oasis-open.org>

Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2003 7:08 PM

Subject: RE: [ws-caf] Patent Issue(s)




CheeTah: a Lightweight Transaction Server for

Plug-and-Play Internet Data Management



Guy Pardon, Gustavo Alonso.




The ability to maintain transactional interaction

in a distributed system has proven to be a key feature

in information systems. Unfortunately, as technology moves

towards more distribution and decentralization, it becomes

increasingly difficult to use existing transactional

tools. In fact, current solutions are entirely unsuitable

for what we call composite systems. Composite systems

can be characterized as a collection of distributed,

autonomous components, linked in an arbitrary configuration.

In this paper, we describe CheeTah, a Java based set of

tools for building composite components capable of

interacting transactionally in arbitrary, dynamically

changing configurations. We describe the technology provided,

how designers would use it to build composite transactional

systems, and examine in detail the performance of the

resulting solution. Among the results we have achieved,

the performance and the simplicity of use are of particular







Robin Cover

XML Cover Pages

WWW: http://xml.coverpages.org

Newsletter: http://xml.coverpages.org/newsletter.html


On Tue, 9 Dec 2003, Newcomer, Eric wrote:




To second Mark's email, can you please also send additional information


about the patent, such as the VLDB paper you mention.






-----Original Message-----

From: Guy Pardon [mailto:guy@atomikos.com]

Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2003 9:53 AM

To: ws-caf@lists.oasis-open.org

Subject: [ws-caf] Patent Issue(s)

Hi all,


As a TC member it is my duty to report that there exists a US patent (US


patent application 09/682,969 -- finally approved about two months ago)

concerning composite systems and an additional European application being in

process. This patent is probably relevant to the CAF specs (and most likely

to BTP as well).

Basically, the patent is an extension of the Composite Systems VLDB


paper we (Gustavo Alonso and I) had at VLDB2000.





Dr. Guy Pardon ( guy@atomikos.com )


Atomikos: Your Partner for Reliable eBusiness Coordination




The information in this email is confidential and only meant for the


addressee(s). The content of this email is informal and will not be legally

binding for Atomikos.

Dr. Guy Pardon ( guy@atomikos.com )

Atomikos: Your Partner for Reliable eBusiness Coordination



The information in this email is confidential and only meant for the addressee(s). The content of this email is informal and will not be legally binding for Atomikos.

Dr. Guy Pardon ( guy@atomikos.com )

Atomikos: Your Partner for Reliable eBusiness Coordination



The information in this email is confidential and only meant for the addressee(s). The content of this email is informal and will not be legally binding for Atomikos.


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