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Re: Different Levels of Reliable Messaging

From: Ricky Ho <riho@cisco.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2002 18:11:22 -0800
Message-Id: <1qcd67$vcue@halt-in.cisco.com>
Message-Id: <>
To: "Burdett, David" <david.burdett@commerceone.com>, www-ws-arch@w3.org

Great summary David, some comments !

The "ack" doesn't need to be per-message based.  I can send an ack for a 
bunch of message (of course, sequence number is used).

The "time expiry" is unreliable because clocks may be unsync.

I don't think there should be a step 4 in LEVEL 3.  Step 3 should say "Have 
you receive the message ?  If not, forget the message afterwards"

I think LEVEL 5 should be done at the transaction layer, below 
choreography, but above reliable messaging.  Using some 2-phase-interaction 
style like BTP.

Best regards,

At 02:48 PM 12/12/2002 -0800, Burdett, David wrote:

>I've been following the Reliable Messaging thread with interest and offer,
>for the purposes of discussion, the following five levels of Reliable
>Messaging starting from a simple "Acknowledgement Only" and ending with
>"Reliable Processing" where each level offers gradually increasing "degrees
>of reliability" ...
>LEVEL 0 - Acknowledgment only
>Upon request, an acknowledgment message is returned as a response to the
>sending of a message. The minimum semantic of the acknowledgement message is
>that the original message has been received and persisted and therefore,
>barring catastrophes, it should not be lost and therefore will be processed.
>The acknowledgement message can *optionally* return the following additional
>status information:
>a) The message structure is valid (in a SOAP context this could be split
>into validation of the envelope, header, body and/or any attachments)
>b) All the checks in a) plus checking that the content of the message is
>valid, e.g. data, codes and identifiers in the message have been checked for
>validity against their datatypes and/or reference information - e.g.
>c) Either or a) or b) above and the fact that the message has been passed on
>for processing - e.g. to the application
>LEVEL 1 - Simple Reliable Messaging
>This is based on Level 0 (Acknowledgment Only) with the following
>1. Each "original" message that is sent contains an "expires at" time which
>indicates to the destination that, if they receive the message after this
>point in time, they MUST NOT process it.
>2. If the acknowledgement message is not received by the sender, after some
>period of time then the original message is resent
>3. Step 2 is repeated as required until an acknowledgement has been received
>or the "expires at" times has passed. If no acknowledgment was received, the
>sender gives up and *presumes* that the message was not delivered
>4. The receiver of the message looks for duplicate messages and, if one is
>found, does not "process" it but, instead, resends the acknowledgement
>5. If the destination receives a message they have not seen before where the
>"expires at" time has passed, then they reject the message with an error.
>Note that this does not solve the "two army" problem that has been discussed
>earlier in this thread - but see Level 3 (Reliable Messaging with Recovery)
>LEVEL 2 - Connection based Reliable Messaging
>This is based on either Level 0 (Acknowledgement Only) or 1 (Simple Reliable
>Messaging) and involves the sending of an inquiry to the destination of the
>message **before sending the actual message** to determine the availability
>of the service that is accepting messages at the destination, i.e.  is
>running or not and is it able to accept messages.
>The idea is that if you do a successful inquiry and immediately follow it by
>sending the actual message then effectively you have "set up a connection"
>and so you are very likely to realize success. This could also be very
>useful if you are sending a "large" message.
>LEVEL 3 - Reliable Messaging with Recovery
>This is based on Level 1 (Simple Reliable Messaging), reuses the service
>availability inquiry from Level 2 (Connection Based Reliable Messaging) and
>adds an inquiry on Message Status. It works as follows.
>1. Firstly the sender of the original must have "given up" (see level 1),
>then, some time later,
>2. The sender optionally uses the service availability inquiry from Level 2
>to inquire on the current status of the service that was the destination of
>the original message
>3. The sender then determines the status of the original message that was
>sent by doing a Message Status Inquiry targeted at the destination. In
>return the destination sends another message that indicates:
>   a) There was no record of the original message, or
>   b) The original message was received and so resends the acknowledgement,
>together with a status that indicates that processing is either: not
>started, in progress, complete or not known
>3. Depending on the response, the sender can take one of the following
>   a) Resend the original message (or perhaps a new version of it as the
>original might have expired),
>   a) Cancel the original message - i.e. do not process it, or
>   b) Wait for the response to the message to arrive (see also Level 5 below)
>Note that a status on the inquiry response of "not known" is valid since the
>solution at the destination that is providing reliable messaging support may
>have no way of determining the status of the processing of the message as
>the processing is being carried out by another piece of software that cannot
>provide that information.
>LEVEL 4 - Connection based Reliable Messaging with Recovery
>This is a simple combination of levels 2 and 3 where a query on the
>availability of the service is done first as in Level 3, but, if the
>acknowledgement was not received and the sender "gave up", then a Level 4
>Recovery is attempted as well.
>LEVEL 5 - Reliable Processing
>Personally I don't think that this level should be part of Reliable
>Messaging and should be part of Choreography instead. I am including it in
>this email for completeness and so that we can determine that it is out of
>scope. Anyway, here's the description ...
>All the previous "reliable messaging" approaches are concerned with the
>delivery of a single message. However, often a message is sent as part of a
>larger (and longer) sequence of exchanges (i.e. a choreography). An example
>use case could be where a buyer sends an Order to a Seller. Later, the
>Seller should return an Order Response which indicates the extent to which
>the seller can (or can not) satisfy the order.
>Now the Order could be sent reliably using one of the levels described
>above. Similarly the Order Response could be sent reliably. But suppose the
>Order Response does not come when expected - none of the earlier "reliable
>messaging levels" help. This will most likely be due to some processing
>error at the Seller where the original message was lost.
>To handle this you could go the further, final step to support "Reliable
>Processing" which includes the following additional steps:
>1. The sender of the original message determines when the response message
>(e.g. the Order Response and NOT the RM Acknowledgement) should be received.
>2. If the response message is not received by the anticipated time:
>   a) The sender inquires on the status of the *processing* of the original
>message (i.e. not just its delivery). The response to the inquiry will
>indicate either:
>     - the message was never received (even though it might have been sent
>     - the message was received and its processing is either: not started, in
>progress, or complete
>   b) Depending on the response the sender can either:
>     - cancel the original message (e.g. it processing had not been started)
>     - wait for processing to complete, or
>     - request the response to the message to be resent.
>Director, Product Management, Web Services
>Commerce One
>4440 Rosewood Drive, Pleasanton, CA 94588, USA
>Tel/VMail: +1 (925) 520 4422; Cell: +1 (925) 216 7704
>mailto:david.burdett@commerceone.com; Web: http://www.commerceone.com
Received on Thursday, 12 December 2002 21:14:58 GMT

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