Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Resource Oriented Framework

What happens when you put an Object oriented Rules Engine in a Resource Oriented Framework? After three years of research, I think I have found the answer and have released it as AliBaba.

AliBaba is separated into three primary modules. The Object Repository provides the Object Oriented Rules Engine. It is based on the Elmo codebase that has been in active development for the past four years. The Metadata Server is a Resource Oriented Framework built around the Object Repository. Finally, the Federation SAIL gives AliBaba more scalability.

In AliBaba, every resource is identified by a URL and can be manipulated through common REST operations (GET, PUT, DELETE). Each resource also has one or more types that enable it to take on Object Oriented features that can be defined in Java or OWL. Each object's properties and methods can be exposed with annotations as HTTP methods or operations. Operations are used with GET, PUT and DELETE HTTP methods by suffixing the URL with a '?' and the operation name. These operations are commonly used for object properties, while object methods are commonly exposed as other HTTP methods (POST) or as GET operations. This HTTP transparency allows the Metadata Server's API to hide within the HTTP protocol and not dictate the protocol used - allowing it to implement many existing RESTful protocols.

AliBaba provides a unique combination of Object Oriented Programming and a Rules Engine, available in a Resource oriented Framework. I believe it combines some of the most promising design paradigms commonly used in Web applications. Its potential to minimize software maintenance costs and maximize productivity by combining these paradigms is very exciting.

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