Leveraging Web Services in Government

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3 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 11 μήνες)

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Innovations In Business Systems, Inc.




Leveraging Web Services

i
n Government



















Updated
March 8
, 200
5


Leveraging Web Services

In Government

Innovations In Business Systems, In
c.



404
-
3960 Quadra Street, Victoria, BC, V8X 4A3

Tel: (250) 592 4352 / Fax (250) 592 4952

URL:
www.innovationscentre.com






What Are Web Service
s?


Web services are a new type of Web application. They are self
-
contained, self
-
describing,
modular applications that can be published, located, and invoked across the Web. Web services
perform functions, which can be anything from simple requests to com
plicated business
processes. Once a Web service is deployed, other applications (and other Web services) can
discover and invoke the deployed service

via the internet, using XML messages
.


A useful definition of Web Services is: “loosely
-
coupled software c
omponents that interact with
one another dynamically, using standard Internet technologies”. In recent years, the concept of
Web Services has captured the attention of IT application managers concerned with movement
away from legacy mainframe systems and t
he integration of technically
-
disparate computer
systems.



A “full
-
function” Web Services platform can be thought of as XML plus HTTP plus SOAP plus
WSDL plus UDDI. At higher levels, this may include technologies such as XAML, XLANG, XKMS,
and XFS (which
are technologies that are not universally accepted as mandatory standards).




















Web Services Relationships



Web Services are provided by a Web Service Provider. Location information for the Web
Services is published to a UDDI Registry, whe
re they can be located by a Consumer. The
Consumer then directly interacts with the Web Service.


Web Service

Consumer

Web Service

Provider

UDDI


Registry




Locate

Publish

I
nteract

Leveraging Web Services

In Government

Innovations In Business Systems, In
c.



404
-
3960 Quadra Street, Victoria, BC, V8X 4A3

Tel: (250) 592 4352 / Fax (250) 592 4952

URL:
www.innovationscentre.com



Why Use Web Services?


Web Services make software functionality available over the Internet, so that
programming
environments

like PHP, ASP, JSP, JavaBean
s, COM

/ DCOM
, and innumerable other
technologies can make a request to a program running on another server (hence, a “Web
Service”) and use that program’s response in an MIS, website,
reporting system
, or
just about
any
other application.


This new appro
ach to structuring systems components, a departure from the tightly
-
coupled “hard
wired” architectures of the past, provides a high level of interoperability and compatible co
-
existence among various systems using incompatible products or technologies. Web

Services
architecture also greatly simplifies the implementation of changes and the deployment of large
distributed systems.


Many IT application managers have recognized that the use of Web Services technology is a key
technique for integrating their var
ious technically disparate systems and lessening reliance on
legacy mainframe technologies. Web Services are also a way of improving application
functionality without large
-
scale upgrades, and they can mitigate the need to duplicate a function
across a num
ber of applications by providing a single function accessible by a number of diverse
external applications.



Things to Consider When Using Web Services


Although they are powerful and flexible, Web Services have some drawbacks. The use of XML as
a
data
t
ransfer format means that message sizes are large, potentially adding further stress to
busy networks. As well, the use of remote computers to perform processing necessitates
message traffic over the Internet, and creates many potential points of failure b
etween the
application and the Web Services. In the past, Web Services were seen as inefficient and
expensive, but advances in technology have made storage, bandwidth and processing power
more affordable and efficient, and now Web Services are not only via
ble, they have begun to be
seen as the preferred alternative.


Initiating the development of Web Services requires some foresight. The point of Web Services is
not to create a different Web Service for each application it integrates with, but rather to cr
eate a
single Web Service for a number of applications to integrate with. As a result, in order to establish
seamless integration, the data model of the web service must take precedence over the data
models of the potential target applications.




Leveraging Web Services

In Government

Innovations In Business Systems, In
c.



404
-
3960 Quadra Street, Victoria, BC, V8X 4A3

Tel: (250) 592 4352 / Fax (250) 592 4952

URL:
www.innovationscentre.com






T
here are a number of
system

areas within
BC Government

which may be suitable for the
application of Web Services. Examples include:


Legacy Mainframe Databases:

There are numerous legacy databases scattered throughout
the BC Government. Often, information
needed by government personnel is located on a variety
of isolated systems, and workers must access each system
individually
to obtain what they need.
Web Services can allow the creation of a secure interface to access all of this disparate
information fro
m a single source.


Functionality Enhancement
:

Web Services can allow a single application function to be used
by a wide range of individual systems. For example, if there is a date calculation function required
on a number of applications, each would tra
ditionally have that function built into their core
programs. With Web Services, the function would only need to be created on a single application;
other applications would send an XML message request via the internet, which would be
answered with the cal
culated data.


Geographically Disparate Users
:

Web Services
can allow systems spread across a wide
geographical area to communicate efficiently and safely via the internet. Staff working in the
community and in remote areas can have the same level of acce
ss to systems and data no
matter where they are located.


Incompatible Technologies:

The challenge of system and application compatibility can be
met by leveraging Web Services to allow these disparate systems to communicate efficiently and
securely. Web

Services can be designed so that the core data and information is protected from
accidental corruption by other applications.






Leveraging Web Services

In Government

Innovations In Business Systems, In
c.



404
-
3960 Quadra Street, Victoria, BC, V8X 4A3

Tel: (250) 592 4352 / Fax (250) 592 4952

URL:
www.innovationscentre.com







Ontario Ministr
y of Children and Youth Services
, Family Responsibility
Office (FRO)


The following
Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services

programs and related applications
are making use of Web Services:


Registration



The Registration function is the function
that permits FRO to open new cases
and re
-
open “closed” cases in accordance with the Family Responsibility and Support Arrears
Enforcement Act and FRO policy.



Case Management



The Case Management function are the activities that associate a case
with an

case manager and permit the case manager to create, revise, update, handle inquiries
about and remove a case.


ISO



The ISO function pertains to situations where either the Support Recipient or Support
Pay
e
r resides outside Ontario
.
Ontario has agreemen
ts with other jurisdictions to enforce each
other’s support orders. These arrangements are authorized by the Inter
-
jurisdictional Support
Orders Act, 2002 (ISO Act).


Payment Processing



The payment processing function ensures that all incoming payments

to FRO are matched to a case, are paid to the party entitled to receive them (Support Recipient,
social services, reciprocating jurisdiction, FRO) and to ensure that appropriate accounting control
standards are met.



Account Management



The Account Man
agement function provides review, account
analysis, and updating of arrears on cases requiring retroactive changes related to the addition of
pre
-
filing arrears, assignments and cancellations of periodic support obligations, and court
-
ordered vari
ations to

support obligations.
The account management module must be a complete
double entry accounting system, with a chart of accounts, general ledger and trial balance.


Administrative Enforcement



The Administrative Enforcement function enables appropriate
en
forcement action to be taken under the auspices of the FRO Director, rather than a court.



Court Enforcement



The Court Enforcement function enables appropriate enforcement action
to be taken which can only be issued under the authority of the court. It

is usually invoked when
Administrative Enforcement has not been successful.


Information Management



The Information Management function enables FRO staff to
manage information related to cases. It provides management reporting to and from supervisors
and executive staff.



Leveraging Web Services

In Government

Innovations In Business Systems, In
c.



404
-
3960 Quadra Street, Victoria, BC, V8X 4A3

Tel: (250) 592 4352 / Fax (250) 592 4952

URL:
www.innovationscentre.com




Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF)


DCF Initiated a

project

to integrate the information from 59 disparate applications running on
multiple platforms and accessing a variety of databases into a composite portal application that
provides a single view of relevant data about each DCF client. The result
was

O
neFamily, a Web
portal built on InterSystems Corporation’s Ensemble integration platform and utilizing iWay data
adapters.


As a government agency, DCF is confronted by
significant
integration challenges. Agency
programs are created as the direct result of

legislation that typically sets very specific, tight
deadlines for
implementation
.
S
peed is the critical success factor for developing and deploying
the IT applications that enable the programs, leaving little or no time for long
-
term planning about
the i
mpact on system infrastructure.



As a result,

DCF applications are running on platforms ranging from IBM mainframes to PCs.
Data repositories include Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, InterSystems’ CACHÉ, IMS, DB2,
Access, and Visual FoxPro.
S
ervice providers

and caseworkers had no way to tie together all of
the information
.
The impact of this lack of a single view of all client data
proved

costly and
frustrating, resulting in unnecessary duplication of services or failure to deliver
some

services.



DCF opted

to become an early adopter of Ensemble, which
bundles a

range of iWay data
adapters
.
Ensemble

enabled DCF to

create reports across
all

59 systems and leverage new
technologies that could easily combine legacy information with new screens
,
and
provide
d

per
sistent, real
-
time ODBC connectivity to a legacy hierarchical database that contains all of
DCF’s clie
nt eligibility information.
The data can be accessed through the application, data or
Web services data exchange layer of OneFamily and incorporated in al
l 59 applications for
seamless eligibility determination.


The project is considered a major success and has saved DCF literally millions of dollars.








Leveraging Web Services

In Government

Innovations In Business Systems, In
c.



404
-
3960 Quadra Street, Victoria, BC, V8X 4A3

Tel: (250) 592 4352 / Fax (250) 592 4952

URL:
www.innovationscentre.com






Person Registry Web Services for Ministry of Children and
Family
Development


The Ministry

of Children and Family Development
's
current
strategic plan
outlines their goal of
reduc
ing

dependency on legacy systems and continu
ing

to

move to
wards regionalization
.
Because there are a number of MCFD systems based on legacy mainframe technology,
achieving this goal

require
d

a shift in the technology focus for the
ir

core systems.


The Ministry created a
Person
-
Centric Registry for all
person
-
id
entifying informa
tion in Ministry
applications.
The
method of
integration of this registry into the existing applications
,

and those to
be developed
in the future, was determined to be
by
use of Web Services.
The Ministry
chose
Innovations, Inc. as their

d
eveloper to produce these
Web Services
, which were

based on
design

specifications
provided by MCFD.

The introduction of a web serviced
Person

Registry is one of
the Ministry's technology building blocks and a foundational element of

the Ministry technology

plan.


By enabling their applications to access the Person Registry via the developed Web Services,
MCFD can enable access to the person information from any integrated application. This means
that the person data does not have to reside in each applicat
ion which uses it, but rather in a
single place accessible by other applications. This mitigates issues such as duplication of data,
excess time spent accessing a variety of systems, and data integrity.

























PRWS Web Service Implementa
tion
IIS 6

Oracle 9i

VB.Net

Visual Studio.Net

2003

C# or
VB.Net

Visual Studio.Net

2003

Oracle PL/SQL

TOAD or PL/SQL
Developer

Programming
Language

Development
T
ools

Test Application

Web Server

Web Service Managers

Data Access

Database

Leveraging Web Services

In Government

Innovations In Business Systems, In
c.



404
-
3960 Quadra Street, Victoria, BC, V8X 4A3

Tel: (250) 592 4352 / Fax (250) 592 4952

URL:
www.innovationscentre.com







Common
Interface
Specification

The Common Interface Specification is a standard set of rules about how technically
an outside system is going to communicate with the Web Services. It defines the
functions and data types used to communicate. T
he Common Interface Specifications
define what most external systems will need to communicate with the Web Service.

HTTP

HyperText Transfer Protocol.

HTTP is the ubiquitous protocol of the Internet, and
therefore makes an ideal base platform for XML messa
ging.

SOAP

Simple Object Access Protocol.

SOAP is a protocol specification that defines a
uniform way of passing XML
-
encoded data. I
t

also defines a way to perform remote
procedure calls (RPCs) using HTTP as the underlying communication protocol.

UDDI

Un
iversal Description, Discovery and Integration.

UDDI provides a mechanism for
clients to dynamically find other web services. Using a UDDI interface, applications
can dynamically connect to services provided by external application partners. A
UDDI registr
y can be thought of as a DNS service for business applications. A UDDI
registry has two kinds of clients: those that want to publish a service (and its usage
interfaces), and users who want to obtain services of a certain kind and bind
programmatically to
them. UDDI is layered over SOAP and assumes that requests
and responses are UDDI objects sent around as SOAP messages.

WSDL

Web Services Description Language.

WSDL provides a way for service providers to
describe the basic format of web service requests o
ver different protocols or
encodings. WSDL is used to describe what a web service can do, where it resides,
and how to invoke it. WSDL defines services as collections of network endpoints,
referred to as ports. A port is defined by associating a network ad
dress with a
reusable binding; a collection of ports define a service.

XML

Extensible Markup Language.

XML in this case constitutes a meta
-
language with
which complex interactions can be encoded for exchange between clients and
services, or between compon
ents of a composite service.