IJCIS: Cooperative Information Systems

A stitch in time saves nine: Early improving code-first web services discoverability

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Web Services represent a number of standard technologies and methodologies that allow developers to build applications under the Service-Oriented Computing paradigm. Within these, the WSDL language is used for representing Web Service interfaces, while code-first remains the de facto standard for building such interfaces. Previous studies with contract-first Web Services have shown that avoiding a specific catalog of bad WSDL specification practices, or anti-patterns, can reward Web Service publishers as service understandability and discoverability are considerably improved. In this paper, we study a number of simple and well-known code service refactorings that early reduce anti-pattern occurrences in WSDL documents. This relationship relies upon a statistical correlation between common OO metrics taken on a service's code and the anti-pattern occurrences in the generated WSDL document. We quantify the effects of the refactorings - which directly modify OO metric values and indirectly alter anti-pattern occurrences - on service discovery. All in all, we show that by applying the studied refactorings, anti-patterns are reduced and Web Service discovery is significantly improved. For the experiments, a dataset of real-world Web Services and an academic service registry have been employed.