OASIS Web Services Composite Application Framework (WS-CAF) TC

The original Call For Participation for this TC may be found at http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/tc-announce/200309/msg00005.html

The charter for this TC is as follows.


OASIS Web Services Composite Application Framework (WS-CAF) Technical Committee

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of the OASIS Web Services Composite Application Framework TC is to define a generic and open framework for applications that contain multiple services used in combination (composite applications).

Multiple web services combined in composite applications require interoperable mechanisms to set the boundaries of an activity (such as start/end, or success/failure), to create, access and manage context information, and to inform participants of changes to an activity. Composite applications might also need to work with a range of transaction models, including simple activity scoping, single and two phase commit ACID transactions, and recoverable long running activities.

The goal of this TC is to define a set of royalty-free related, interoperable and modular specifications that will enable development of composite applications, ranging from simple to complex combinations of web services and encompassing a useful range of transaction and coordination requirements.

In no event shall this Technical Committee finalize or approve any technical specification if it believes that the use, distribution, or implementation of such specification would necessarily require the unauthorized infringement of any third party rights known to the Technical Committee, and such third party has not agreed to provide necessary license rights on perpetual, royalty-free, non-discriminatory terms.

Scope of Work

Essential elements of web services are SOAP and WSDL. The specifications to be created will provide WSDL definitions for context, coordination and transactions. Message formats will be specified as SOAP headers and/or body content. The resulting specification must be programming language-neutral and platform-neutral.

Interoperability, ease of implementation, and ease of use will be fundamental characteristics for WS-CAF. The TC's work should build upon similar, existing standards wherever possible and to align where appropriate with other relevant standards. Alignment means any of the following: feature reuse, bindings, guidelines on how to jointly use the specification with other related ones, or addressing requirements from other related standards.

Composability is a critical aspect of Web Service specifications. We expect the work of the WS-CAF TC, particularly WS-Context, to become building blocks for other Web service specifications and standards. Therefore, the resulting specification must be non-overlapping and have demonstrated composability with other Web Service specifications that are being developed in open, recognized standards setting organizations. The WS-CAF TC will work with these organizations to gather requirements input and to define the relationships between their specifications and this TC's work with the goal of promoting convergence, consistent use, and a coherent architecture.

The WS-CAF TC will accept as input the WS-Context, WS-Coordination Framework and WS-Transaction Management specifications [1] published by Arjuna, Fujitsu, Iona, Oracle, and Sun Microsystems on July 28 2003. Other contributions in addition to WS-CAF will be accepted for consideration without any prejudice or restrictions and evaluated on their technical merit, as long as the contributions conform to the goals and scope of this charter.

The benefits and results of this work will be standard and interoperable ways to:

  • Demarcate and coordinate web service activities
  • Propagate and coordinate context information
  • Notify participants of changes in an activity
  • Define the relationship of coordinators to each other
  • Recover transactions predictably and consistently in a business process execution.
  • Interact across multiple transaction models (such as are used in CORBA, CICS, Enterprise JavaBeans? or .NET environments).

List of Deliverables

  • A revised WS-Context specification. Draft due within 6 months of first meeting.
  • A revised WS-Coordination Framework specification. Draft Due within 10 months of first meeting.
  • A revised WS-Transaction Management specification. Draft due within 14 months of first meeting.
  • A primer introducing the above specifications, including use cases and scenarios as appropriate.

These specifications will reflect refinements and changes made to, and by, contributions to the TC that are identified by members for additional functionality and semantic clarity within the scope of the TC charter. The titles of the specifications may change.

The TC will also develop and sponsor a testing/interoperability program in parallel with the development of the specifications.

At the appropriate time, the TC shall submit its Committee Drafts for balloting by OASIS membership for OASIS Standard status. The TC will make a determination, at that time, as to whether to progress the specifications individually or in groups.

Anticipated Audience

The anticipated audience for this work includes:

  • other specification writers that need underlying web service coordination, context and transaction mechanisms;
  • vendors offering web service products;
  • software architects and programmers who design and write distributed applications requiring coordination, context and transaction mechanisms.


All business will be conducted in English.


[1] WS-Context
WS-Coordination Framework
WS-Transaction Management