Speaker: Ambuj Goyal, Chief Technology Officer
Affiliation: IBM Software - Somers, NY
Date: 10/26/2000
Time and Location: 4:15 PM, B17 Upson Hall
Title: Transactional Internet

The Internet enables automated business-to-business interactions, however, stretches traditional strict transaction processing concepts in several directions. First, such interactions may need to address enforcement of agreements, and hence, transactions spanning multiple independent organizations may need to address enforcement of pairwise legal agreements rather than a global schema. Second, a new transaction processing paradigm is required that supports different views of units of business for all participants, i.e., service providers as well as end consumers. Several related interactions between any two interacting parties may be dispersed in time creating a long running conversation. We first outline the Coyote (COver YOurself Transaction Environment) model for business-to-business (B-B) e-commerce in which (i) service contracts between businesses specify the protocol, i.e., the set and sequence of allowable actions; (ii) an instance of a contract is a long-running conversation, where each action is atomic, the conversation state always moves forward, and recourse actions with possible side-effects are analogous to compensation; (iii) conversations are coupled by an action in one conversation initiating an action in another conversation. We then show that (i) the Coyote model is scalable, since there is no global coordination, and each business is only concerned with contracts with its immediate partners; (ii) coupled conversations move in synchronism between allowable states as specified in the contracts; (iii) individual and coupled conversations have good termination properties. Finally, we show that emerging B-B protocols, such as Open Buying on the Internet (OBI), and RosettaNet, are special cases of this model.

In addition, I will give an overview of computer science research at IBM with special focus on areas of new investments.