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Web Services Coordination (WSC) is a Web services specification that provides a framework to coordinate distributed application actions. It was developed by BEA Systems, Microsoft and IBM, and is part of the Oasis Web Services Transaction.
Often, the services defined by different vendors may simulate a single activity. For example, the act of purchasing a product from eBay also utilizes the Web service from PayPal for payment. Hence, some form of coordination is essential between multiple services to reduce business latency. WSC specifies coordination protocols that allow the user to specify constraints and negotiate an agreement on the acceptable outcome of activities.
The WSC specification is a mechanism for specifying how several Web services integrate together to achieve a common goal. The coordinator is the main component of the WSC framework. An application can create a coordination instance using an operation provided by the Activation Service. An application that wishes to incorporate a distributed coordination feature can implement the Registration Service.
An activity needs to define a coordination context for the activity to be monitored by the coordinator. The Activation Service is used by applications to create the coordination service. An application can send its acquired coordination context to another application. The behavior for the activity and its coordination is specified during the process of registration. A collection of Web services are generally monitored and coordinated during the course of their operation.
The advantage of the WSC framework is that it allows extensibility and flexibility. Extensibility is the mechanism by which new coordination protocols can be defined and added. Flexibility is the mechanism by which the existing protocols are modified to suit certain application requirements.