Transactional Execution Guarantees for Data-Intensive Processes in Medical Information Systems

Christoph Schuler, Heiko Schuldt, Hans-Jörg Schek
In Proceedings
Appears in
Proceedings of the 1st European Workshop on Computer-based Support for Clinical Guidelines and Proto
Leipzig, Germany
Medical information systems are characterized by the existence of various distributed and heterogeneous software systems, each of them specialized for certain domains. In this environment, interoperation between systems is crucial since, in general, large amounts of data such as multimedia objects have to be transferred. Mostly, this is achieved by some communication server which supports bilateral data transfer. However, communication servers do neither allow to have a global view on dependencies between all systems nor do they provide for any transactional execution guarantees such as failure handling and/or alternative executions that include more than two systems. This, in turn, can be solved by encompassing global dependencies into processes and by exploiting systems that execute processes under transactional control. But these systems are usually not made for the support of data-intensive applications. Hence, a combination of transactional process support and communication servers is required such that the advantages of both systems can be brought together. In this paper, we present an approach to support data-intensive processes for which transactional execution guarantees are provided. We have implemented a prototype system based on the transactional process management system Wise, developed at ETH, and the commercial communication server Cloverleaf. By plugging Cloverleaf as a dedicated component to the Wise system, we are able to execute transactional processes in medical information systems while, at the same time, supporting the standard communication server functionality for data transfer purposes.
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