Web Service Interfaces

Dirk Beyer, Arindam Chakrabarti, and Thomas A. Henzinger

We present a language for specifying web service interfaces. A web service interface puts three kinds of constraints on the users of the service. First, the interface specifies the methods that can be called by a client, together with types of input and output parameters; these are called signature constraints. Second, the interface may specify propositional constraints on method calls and output values that may occur in a web service conversation; these are called consistency constraints. Third, the interface may specify temporal constraints on the ordering of method calls; these are called protocol constraints. The interfaces can be used to check, first, if two or more web services are compatible, and second, if a web service A can be safely substituted for a web service B. The algorithm for compatibility checking verifies that two or more interfaces fulfill each others' constraints. The algorithm for substitutivity checking verifies that service A demands fewer and fulfills more constraints than service B.

Proceedings of the 14th International Word-Wide Web Conference (WWW), 2005, pp. 148-159.

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