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A Set of Rules and System to Visualize Runtime Data Transformation in SOA Disclosure Number: IPCOM000236328D
Publication Date: 2014-Apr-21

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


In this article we present a set of rules to define the data mapping between SOA services , we also descibe how to design a system to interpret these rules

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A Set of Rules and System to Visualize Runtime Data Transformation in SOA

Service-oriented architecture (SOA) provides an architectural approach to integrate different IT systems flexibly. It does this by providing a method to disconnect service provider from service requester. This enables the substitution of one service provider for another, without the requester being aware of the change and without the need to alter the architecture.

Figure 1. SOA Structure

As shown in Figure 1, An Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) is used to connect service requester and service provider so that messages can be routed between the two platforms. The ESB is a collection of software components that manage messaging from one part of the network to another. The ESB handles mismatches between the requesters and providers, including protocol, interface or quality of service mismatches.

Runtime Data transformation between services provider and services requester is an important feature of ESB. Currently, there are many tools are provided for developer to define data mapping.

These tools are so helpful for developer. With those tools developer can easily define the mapping rules by clicking and dragging . As shown in Figure 2, a filed patent discloses one system to visualize data mapping (Patent No: US20050257193A1).


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Figure 2. Visualize Data Mapping patent (Patent No: US20050257193A1)*1

We can use these data mapping tools in SOA run time environment, But there are following drawbacks in these data mapping tools:

- Difficult to understand and maintain.
- Duplicated work.

Difficult to understand and maintain

If there are many fields in data mapping diagram, this diagram will be full of chaos, it's very difficult to understand and maintain. As shown in Figure 3


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Figure 3. Data mapping in chaos sample

Duplicated work

When Business Analyst (BA) analyzes business requirements, s/he has documented all mapping using business language. While when developer develops the features, s/he has to do it again using programming language.

Disclosed is a set of rules to define the runtime data transformation using spreadsheet, and a system or interpreter to generate code based on runtime data transformation definitions which follow disclosed rules.

The set of rules is used to describe runtime data transformation logic in cell or merged cells, these logics include such as value assignment, condition, loop or user defined functions. More details about rules will be introduced in the next section.

The interpreter is used to analyze cells or merged cells in runtime data transfromation definitions document and generate code for applications with the help of attributes definition document , the data flow is shown as in Figure 4.


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Figure 4. Runtime Data Transformation process flow

There are following four key components included.

1. Runtime Data Transformation Definitions: a spreadsheet documented by BA, which strictly follow the rules...