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Along with the standardization of Web services composition language and the widespread acceptance of composition technologies, Web services composition is becoming an efficient and cost-effective way to develop modern business applications. As Web services are inherently unreliable, how to deliver reliable Web services composition over unreliable Web services is a significant and challenging problem. In this paper, we propose FACTS, a framework for fault-tolerant composition of transactional Web services. We identify a set of high-level exception handling strategies and a new taxonomy of transactional Web services to devise a fault-tolerant mechanism that combines exception handling and transaction techniques. We also devise a specification module and a verification module to assist service designers to construct fault-handling logic conveniently and correctly. Furthermore, we design an implementation module to automatically implement fault-handling logic in WS-BPEL. A case study demonstrates the viability of our framework and experimental results show that FACTS can improve fault tolerance of composite services with acceptable overheads.
Date of Publication: Jan.-March 2010