The Web services platform offers a distributed computing environment where autonomous applications interact using standard Internet technology. In this environment, diverse applications and systems become the components of intra- and inter-enterprise integration. Yet, transactional reliability, an often critical requirement on such integration, is presently missing from the Web services platform. In this paper, we address this shortcoming and propose the WSTx framework as an approach to Web service reliability. WSTx introduces transactional attitudes to explicitly describe the otherwise implicit transactional semantics, capabilities, and requirements of individual applications. We show how explicit transactional attitude descriptions can be used by a middleware system to automate the reliable composition of applications into larger Web transactions, while maintaining autonomy of the individual applications.
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