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Part 3 | Component Models in Java
Service Component Architecture Model
May. 18, 2013 03:00 PM
SCA is best suited model for distributed systems. SCA simplifies building of systems by simple assembling of components. SCA like other component model discussed in the previous sections facilitates component assembly in the middle tier - business tier of N-tier architecture. SCA has some key elements like services, components, composites and domains.
In SCA, applications are created and assembled as components. Components contain the functionality to be exposed to the clients. The functionality provided by the components is exposed as services. Multiple components in the application interact and get bounded by a mechanism called "wire". Components are connected through wire and their services are exposed through a composite.
Several open source tools/IDEs helps to develop SCA application using designer tools. The key elements in SCA are represented through some standard symbols are represented in Figure 1.
Figure 1: SCA Key Elements
Service contract defines the methods, input parameters for the methods and the return value. Service contract can be defined in several ways. In Java, service contract is a simple interface (POJI - Plain Old Java Interface) which exposes the functionality of the components. Service contract in Java is usually an interface which can be used locally as well as remotely. The remote service contract will have SCA annotation @Remotable. In SOA world, the service contract is defined as a WSDL file. IDL is also one of the ways to define service contract.
While service contract exposes the functionality provided by the component, Service address is used by the clients to uniquely identify the service. Service address is unique per service. Reusability is achieved through the service address, because clients connect to the service through the service address.
Figure 2: Component with Services, References and Properties
Figure 3: Composite graphical representation
First a composite is defined, then components are defined as part of it. The services provided are defined as part of the component definition. A composite is used to configure more than one component.
If a component is dependent on another component, then a reference is defined on the component which has dependency. The reference is service contract of the other component. Service and reference are connected using "Wire". Wire acts as a binding element between client component and the target component. The wire binding can be defined as a local or remote binding. The wire binding reference is also configured in the composite. In the implementation, the references to other components are referred using @Reference annotation. The reference of the target component is obtained using dependency injection. The reference dependency injection can be constructor based or setter methods based or field based injection. However the field based injection is concise which is preferred.
If the component's behavior has to be changed during runtime through change in the value of the attributes, a property can be defined on the composite.
Figure 4: Component Wiring
SCA Component Model Example
Here in this example, there is only a single component called ‘CartServiceComponent' which exposes its functionality through the CartService interface which is the service contract for the CartServiceComponent. As a first step, the service contract is defined. The CartService interface is a service contract which contains the business methods defined by the component.
The CartService is implemented by the class CartServiceImpl is a POJO which represents the CartServiceComponent.
The service contract and the component are connected using SCA composite designer tool provided by IDEs like Eclipse. Using the tool, a composite is created named ‘Cart.composite'. The composite is an XML file which will have an associated Cart.composite_diagram which represents the composite file as a graphical representation. In the Cart composite diagram, using the component creation tool, a component is created named ‘CartServiceComponent'. A service is added to the composite named ‘CartService'. Using the designer tool, the Java interface file is dragged and dropped on to the Service defined and the Java implementation class to the CartServiceComponent. The service is promoted using the tool (that is exposing the service for clients to consume it). The graphical representation of composite diagram is as follows:
Figure 5: SCA Component Model - Cart Component Example
The composite file contains XML code that describes the component assembly in the composite diagram.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="no"?>
The CartServiceComponent is created and assembled. The component is deployed in SCADomain as a single component with the id ‘CartService'. This is evident from the <sca:service> element having an attribute called ‘promote' in the composite XML file. The SCADomain is the runtime for the SCA components. In this example, Apache Tuscany is the runtime used for deploying composite. The client for the CartServiceComponent first looks up for the composite in the SCADomain where it is deployed. From the domain, client looks for the service with the service address and the service contract. Once it gets the service reference, the client consumes the methods exposed by the component.
Thus SCA component model provides easy steps for creating and assembling components. Assembling components is easy by linking the reference to the service of the target components. SCA promotes reuse through service contracts and address and solves complexity through loose coupling. SCA as a component model promotes reusability and it is highly preferred for assembly if components. The advantage of SCA is its language neutral for several languages like Java, C#, Ruby etc.
In this article we discussed about four latest component models in Java - Enterprise JavaBeans, Spring, OSGi and SCA in brief. We understand that each component model has its own standards for development and assembly. The runtime environment provided by these component framework helps in execution of the components developed using the appropriate model. We also tried to understand the similarity and differences of these component models through a simple component ‘Cart' component which is part of online shopping application.
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