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e-Transactions: end-to-end reliability for three-tier architectures

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2 Author(s)
S. Frolund ; Hewlett-Packard Labs., Palo Alto, CA, USA ; R. Guerraoui

A three-tier application is organized as three layers: human users interact with front-end clients (e.g., browsers), middle-tier application servers (e.g., Web servers) contain the business logic of the application, and perform transactions against back-end databases. Although three-tier applications are becoming mainstream, they usually fail to provide sufficient reliability guarantees to the users. Usually, replication and transaction-processing techniques are applied to specific parts of the application, but their combination does not provide end-to-end reliability. The aim of this paper is to provide a precise specification of a desirable, yet realistic, end-to-end reliability contract in three-tier applications. The paper presents the specification in the form of the Exactly-Once Transaction (e-Transaction) abstraction: an abstraction that encompasses both safety and liveness properties in three-tier environments. It gives an example implementation of that abstraction and points out alternative implementations and tradeoffs

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 4 )