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Communication patterns with message bus approach in mobile environment
Communication between distributed mobile applications is challenging due characteristics of mobile networking environment. Applications might lose connectivity to the other networking components. Applications have to manage different types of networks. Applications have to discover their peer application instances in range of personal area networks. Applications may also have different requirements for communication purposes. However primal task of application is carry on own their own solutions to the user, so recognizing and implementing of the characteristics is not application responsibility but it is responsibility of underlying middleware framework. Middleware framework is needed for applications specially in mobile environment, that has capability to exchange messages in unreliable communication and adjust to dynamic distributed application configuration.
The research studies will focus into analyze of research fields mobile middleware framework. The results from analysis are synthesized into conceptual framework, that is then implemented as prototype middleware for mobile applications. The middleware prototype is then evaluated for feasibility and performance metrics with distributed mobile applications on mobile networking environment.
Research fields are divided into two categories: focus fields and impact fields. Focus research fields are what this research work is putting together. From impact research fields comes a context, restrictions, facts and support to the focus work.
Focus research field subjects:
- Communication pattern for protocol declaration and establishment.
- Message bus based communication systems.
- Distributed Mobile Applications.
Impacting research field subjects.
- Mobile networking environments.
- Development Methods Impact.
Subject definitions and relations
Communication pattern for protocol declaration and establishment. Communication varies between multiple devices or end-points due applications behavior or networking restrictions. On mobile environment usual network faults are standard situation. The coverage of services also varies along user's mobile paths. The communication pattern will provide a state machine based description rules to model and establish application level message routing for mobile software.
Message bus approach for mobile communication systems. Mobile applications need middleware solution to communicate with each other. Deployment model in mobile environment for devices is often transient, so that devices are not available physically all the time. Third part in the communication is needed to handle transient model and implement the message routing, this is message bus role. The message bus forms a communication channel between applications and uses communication patterns to guide message delivery.
Distributed Mobile Applications. In this research work the application model is distributed, in contrast to web based centralized application model. The application is considered to be composed from every software module deployed to separate devices to complete users tasks. The distributed application model is transient as well, because no all application modules are not available at certain point. The application middleware should be able to recover from constant disconnects on network environment. Use of communication patterns with message bus approach is researched to establish distribution.
Mobile networking environments. Mobile wireless networks, for example WLAN or Bluetooth, will create own characteristics for the behavior of the communication between applications. Disconnectivity, discovery of services and ad hoc composition of the network are few to mention. Distributed applications should be aware of the characteristics, but managing the behavior is not application responsibility, it is mobile middleware responsibility. The research work will take these characteristics as impacts to the development of the focus areas.
Development Methods Impact. Today software, mobile or other, is not done alone. Development methods and tools are used to increase work productivity and competence of software developers. Communications patterns might become challenging and complex to developers. On the other hand tasks in message bus approach are straightforward and can be automatized. Different development methods, especially Unified Modeling Language, and tools will be taken into account when researching the focus areas.
Research work objectives are to study, analyze, synthesize subject areas and then construct a communication framework for mobile networking environment. Each of research fields will be studied. The analysis work results from focus research fields will be synthesized to form a conceptual model for the communication middleware framework. Studies from impacting research field provides constraints, facts and support to the conceptual focus framework. The synthesized concept framework will be prototyped to real implementations. From implementations there will made measurements to prove conceptual and implementation goodness of the research ideas. These measurements the will make ground to the research claims.
As the nature of research work is partially software development, the work will be done in iterations. Work will also be done in conjunction with PeerHood project in Laboratory of Communications Software.
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