The need for integration of both client and server applications that were not initially designed to interoperate is gaining popularity. One of the reasons for this popularity is the capability to quickly reconfigure a composite application for a task at hand, both by changing the set of components and the way they are interconnected. Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) has become a popular platform in the IT industry for building such composite applications recently with the integrated components being provided as web services. A key limitation of such a web service is that it requires extra programming efforts when integrating non web service components, which is not cost-effective. Moreover, with the emergence of new standards, such as OSGi, the components used in composite applications have grown to include more than just web services. Our work enables progressive composition of non web service based components such as portlets, web applications, native widgets, legacy systems, and Java Beans. Further, we proposed a novel application of semantic annotation together with the standard semantic web matching algorithm for finding sets of functionally equivalent components out of a large set of available non web service based components. Once such a set is identified the user can drag and drop the most suitable component into an Eclipse based composition canvas. After a set of components has been selected in such a way, they can be connected by data-flow arcs, thus forming an integrated, composite application without any low level programming and integration efforts. We implemented and conducted experimental study on the above progressive composition framework on IBM's Lotus Expeditor which is an extension of a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) platform called the Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP) that complies with the OSGi standard. 2008 Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
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