SOA - SOA and User Interfaces


Service-oriented applications mostly focus on the interaction between machines. However, in applications, the interaction between user and machine also plays an important role. A user can act as a service provider so that he can set SOA User Interface(SOAUI) design into an overall system design where the user interaction workflow is a part of system workflow.

The SOA User Interface follows MVC (Model View Controller) architectural pattern. SOA applications provide the model layer, and User Interfaces occupy the view layer.

The environments hosting components in the SOA approach are abstracted as containers that provides infrastructure services. From a User Interface view, below are the containers for hosting client-side UI components:

  • Basic Web browser.

  • Web browser augmented with Java™Script and dynamic HTML.

  • IBM Workplace™ Client Technology™ -- the Eclipse-rich client plus native IBM WebSphere® Application Server client support.

By supporting technologies like servlets, JavaServer Pages (JSP), JSP Tags etc, the above containers can be expanded.

The user that interacts with a business process consists of initiating and awaiting the result of a process. It is important for a human to involve in a process cycle where processes rarely run completely and automatically. In such environment, WS-Human Task can fulfil this requirement.

A standardize API can be used to fill a mailbox with tasks that was defined for a workflow service. For example, during a process cycle, if input of addtional data is required, the process establishes correct actor and places the task in their mailbox through the task service. This process resumes its work in the background and the users recieve the entries in their mailbox by processing the pending tasks sequentailly.

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