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Method for Service Discovery in Mixed (Heterogeneous) Environments

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000012305D
Publication Date: 2003-Apr-28
Document File: 4 page(s) / 92K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A simplified method is described for the advertisement and discovery of networked services. The described method is based on the fact the network environments are mixed (heterogeneous) and the advertisement and discovery of network services needs support multiple underlying standards, defacto mechanisms, and custom mechanisms. The described method provides an abstract interface to applications so that applications can be isolated from changes and from differences in underlying mechanisms.

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Method for Service Discovery in Mixed (Heterogeneous) Environments

A simplified method is described for the advertisement and discovery of networked services.  The described method is based on the fact the network environments are mixed (heterogeneous) and the advertisement and discovery of network services needs support multiple underlying standards, defacto mechanisms, and custom mechanisms.  The described method provides an abstract interface to applications so that applications can be isolated from changes and from differences in underlying mechanisms.

Service Discovery Model

The model for service discovery is illustrated in figure 1. The model contains three layers: an application layer, an abstraction layer, and a provider layer.  The application layer contains the client applications and services that require or provide network services in heterogeneous (mixed) environments. The abstraction layer provides an extensible, core set of service discovery operations. The provider layer contains mechanisms for service discovery that are often limited to a specific network environment.  A key element of the model is the abstraction layer. The abstraction layer isolates applications from implementation differences and future changes in the various provider mechanisms. The abstraction layer enables simple, efficient discovery of network services in heterogeneous environments. The abstract interface enables future implementations to be rapidly extended with new provider mechanisms.

Figure 1 - Service Discovery Model

Service Discovery Abstract Interface

The Service Discovery abstract interface provides the capability to register, deregister and query for services by name, type and capability. Both asynchronous and synchronous operations are provided for service discovery. A factory capability is also provided to enable client applications and services to create, load and unload service discovery provider mechanisms. The key classes of the abstract interface are illustrated in the following figure.

The key classes and their roles and responsibilities are:

·          SvcDiscoveryAgent Class is an interface class for the discovery of services. One or more service discovery providers implement these interfaces resulting in a consistent and stable interface to applications.  Applications that use this interface benefit from the use of a common strategy for the discovery services in heterogeneous environments.  Interfaces are provided for synchronous and asynchronous discovery of services using a flexible, rich searching capability.  Searching is accomplished through the use of an XML-based query language for service discovery.

·          SvcAdvertisementAgent Class is an interface class for the advertisement of services. One or more service advertisement providers implement this interfaces resulting in a consistent and stable interface for service advertisement. Services that use this interface benefit from the use of a common strategy for the advertisement of service...