JISC Information Environment Architecture
Notes on the JIE Architecture and Web Services
This set of notes outlines the relationship between the
JISC IE technical architecture and
As outlined in
An introduction to Web Services,
the Web services architecture comprises three component roles -
service provider, service requestor and
These three roles map quite cleanly onto the JISC IE architecture
components, as shown below:
All JISC IE components
that offer services are service providers
- this includes content providers, aggregators, brokers and all the
JISC IE shared services.
All JISC IE components that connect to those services are service
requestors - this includes portals, aggregators and brokers.
The JISC IE collection description service and service description
service can jointly be thought of as providing a JISC IE directory.
This combined service is the JISC IE service registry.
The key Web service technologies are the
Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), the
Web Service Description Language (WSDL) and the
Universal Description, Discovery and Integration of Web Services (UDDI):
SOAP does not curently feature in the JISC IE architecture protocols -
Z39.50, OAI and RSS. However, there is work underway to develop
a SOAP-based implementation of Z39.50 known as
Web service (SRW).
there has been some discussion on the OAI technical implementation
lists about the desirability of implementing OAI in SOAP.
It is reasonable to assume that if these developments go ahead,
they will form part of a future JISC IE architecture.
WSDL, the XML application for describing Web services, covers the
description of four main entities - businessEntity,
businessService, bindingTemplate and tModel.
The businessService and bindingTemplate entities
map quite closely
onto the current JISC IE architecture 'collection' and 'service'
terminology. We currently have a small pilot underway to
evaluate the possibilities for describing JISC IE collections
and services using WSDL. This work acknowledges that WSDL
descriptions are not as rich as other collection descriptions, e.g.
descriptions based on the RSLP or EAD schemas.
Therefore, it may be necessary to
incorporate these richer schemas into WSDL descriptions
in some way.
UDDI provides the Web services registry function. As well as being a
'directory' technology, it is also the name of a global, public Web
Depending on the progress of the WSDL pilot, it will be necessary
to consider the benefits of developing a 'private' JISC IE UDDI registry
vs. registering all JISC IE services in the global UDDI registry.