What is the objective of the CHOReOS project?
It is now a common perception that the Internet is this amazing tool for accessing information and performing simple tasks such as chatting, emailing, booking tickets, shopping, managing accounts, etc.. We see the Internet rapidly becoming the critical infrastructure supporting services that will influence almost all aspects of our lives and businesses.
However, most people are not aware that the evolution from the Internet as a source of information towards an "Internet of Services" poses new challenges and necessitates new technologies.
So, the objective of the CHOReOS project is to provide a solution to allow the development and management of a new generation of Internet services. Of course, we have no intention of reinventing the wheel, as our solution will mainly re-use existing services.
Could you give us some examples of new-generation services?
Examples of these new services can be found in areas such as health care, energy saving, home automation, transportation, car navigation, fleet management systems and so on. Imagine the airport you are flying to is closed due to bad weather and you are diverted to a different airport - when the CHOReOS solution is deployed the future Internet of Services infrastructure will trigger a whole series of automatic adjustments: the new airport and baggage handlers get ready for the flight, new boarding cards are issued for any connecting flights, taxi and hotel reservations rescheduled, etc.. These services, autonomic and provided across all networks and connected devices, will be, for the most part, invisible to the user.
And these new services pose new challenges?
CHOReOS addresses the challenges of the future Internet of Services. Simply put, there are two main ones. On the one hand, we are talking of Ultra-Large Scale because of the huge number of services to be coordinated, the enormous service base, the great heterogeneity of the networked systems ranging from tiny-scale sensors/actuators to infrastructure servers, the high dynamics of the networked environment, etc.. On the other hand, because this new environment must be extremely reactive and agile, IT experts alone can no longer handle the development of services in isolation. The challenge here is to allow end-users to play an active role in the overall development of services – well, maybe not the ordinary European citizen but rather the ordinary European domain expert!
Is this where the concept of choreography comes into play?
That’s right! We address these challenges by designing a new approach in the development and management of networked services. In today's intranets and Internet, the dominant paradigm for service composition is technology-centric and centralized. This is called orchestration.
CHOReOS is based on a decentralized approach to services’ development and management. The very name of the project, CHOReOS, reflects our perspective. This is a direct reference to choreography, which is by nature decentralized, as opposed to orchestration, which is centralized by nature. The perception underpinning the notion of choreographing services is that dancers dance according to a scenario without one single point of control.
So, what will CHOReOS deliver?
The CHOReOS project is committed to the delivery of a dynamic development process and associated methods, tools and middleware, to sustain the decentralized composition of services in the Future Internet. Four types of deliverable will emerge from our approach. First, we will extend current state-of-the-art by delivering formally grounded abstractions and models for choreography-based software systems; second, we will develop an integrated development environment enabling the development of decentralized, compositional and adaptable QoS-aware choreographies by domain-experts; third, we will provide specific service-oriented middleware adapted to ensure that systems meet the challenges of ultra large-scale deployments. Last but not least, CHOReOS will define concepts of governance and will develop mechanisms for the verification and validation of choreographies.
And to finish, a word on the organization of the CHOReOS project?
The CHOReOS project is co-financed by the European Commission within FP7 (the Seventh Framework Programme) and the participating members. To use EC-speak, it is an Integrated Project run by an international consortium of 16 companies, universities and research organizations. A vast project requiring over 900 people-months of work, it was launched in October 2010 and is scheduled to last three years; we will start releasing code in a year. The artifacts produced by CHOReOS will be integrated and published as open source software via the OW2 consortium. OW2 will help to diffuse the results to a wide community, which will, after completion of the CHOReOS project, enable the CHOReOS IDRE and its specific components to continue to evolve.
Hugues Vincent is Program Manager in the Advanced Studies Department of Thales's Defence & Security C4I Systems Division. After 5 years serving as System Architect in a large project, he has been leading several ANR and ITEA2 projects for more than 5 years and is now the CHOReOS FP7 project leader. He also has been a member of the OMG Architecture Board since 2008. His field of expertise includes SOA architecture and middleware, Semantic Web Services and service composition.
CHOReOS is a project of the FP7 European program: FP7-ICT-2009-5 - Objective 1.2 (grant agremment n° 257178)