Conference Overview

3rd International Conference on Web Services Computing (ICWSC- 2014)

21 November, 2014 @ SCMS , COCHIN, INDIA

 Organised by 
  SCMS Group of Institutions ,  Cochin, India

Web Services Computing

Web services are Internet-based, modular applications that perform a specific business task and conform to a particular technical format. Service Computing is a recent evolution in Distributed Computing series and it is an emerging and fast growing paradigm in the present scenario. Web Service Computing is a diversified discipline suite that is related to the technologies of Business Process Integration and Management, Grid /Utility / Cloud Computing paradigms, autonomic computing, as well as the business and scientific applications. Service oriented computing addresses how to enable the technology to help people to perform business processes more efficiently and effectively. 

The significance of the web services is their interoperability, which allows businesses to dynamically publish, discover, and aggregate a range of Web services through the Internet to more easily create innovative products, business processes and value chains both from organization and end user points of views. These features of the cross discipline attracts an array of researchers from varied disciplines to conduct the versatile research and experiments in the area.

Focus Areas

Web services standards and formalizations, Web services modeling, Semantics in Web services, Web services supporting Cloud Computing, Web services QoS (e.g., security, performance, reliability, fault tolerance, etc.).

 

Date : November 21, 2014 , Friday                 Venue : SCMS Seminar Hall, Muttom, Aluva

                                                     Tentative Programme Schedule

Timings

Programme

 

9.00 AM -10.00 AM

Registration

10.00 AM- 11.15 AM

Inaugural Session

 Welcome Address

 

 

 Presidential Address

 

 

  Key Note Address

 

 

 Vote of Thanks

 

Dr. V.Raman Nair,

Director, Research & Consultancy,SCMS Cochin School of Business

Mr. James Joseph,

Former Director, Executive Engagement at Microsoft India Founder & Brand Ambassador of JackFruit365

Dr. Achuthsankar S. Nair  

Head,  DCBB  &  Director, Centre for International Academics, University of Kerala, Trivandrum

Dr. Indu Nair,

Conference Convener & Director , SCMS Group of Institutions

 

11.15 AM- 11.30 AM

Coffee/ Tea Break

11.30 AM- 1.30 PM

Plenary Session-I

SMAC for Business Excellence

 

 

  • Mr. Vijayakumar, ​​CEO​, Webyfy Infotech Private Limited
  • Mr. Anoop John , CTO, ZYXWare Technologies
  • Mr. Jugul ThacheryFounder & COO,  Ruby Seven Studios Inc. & ChaYoWo Games

1.30 PM- 2.15 PM

 Lunch Break

2.15 PM- 3.30 PM

Plenary Session-II

Paper Presentations

Chair

 

 

Dr. G . Raju , Associate Professor & Head, Department of Information Technology, Kannur University

 

3.30 PM- 3.45 PM

Coffee / Tea Break

3.45 PM- 4.45 PM

Plenary Session-III

Web Services for Education

 

 

 

Gemini Communications **

Linways Technologies Pvt Ltd**

Fourth Ambit Technologies Pvt Ltd **

4.45 PM- 5.00 PM

Valedictory Session

Concluding Remarks & Vote of Thanks

 

Prof. Mariakutty Varkey, HOD, Systems and Operations Area, SCMS Cochin School of Business

 

** : to be confirmed

ICWSC 2013 Photo Album

 

ICWSC 2013 - A Report

International Conference on Web Services Computing (ICWSC) – 2013 

-  A Report by Student Conference Editorial Committee

Introduction

 On Thursday, the 29th of August 2013, scholars, industry experts and, entrepreneurs gathered to discuss and, share their ideas on one of the most important emerging disciplines in the field of information technology - Web Services. The students, faculty and, above all, the management of SCMS-Cochin made this gathering of eminent personalities possible through the second International Conference on Web Services Computing (ICWSC - 2013). After the resounding success of the first instalment of ICWSC in 2011 the minds behind it set to work on the next instalment, with a focus on bringing in more entrepreneurs and industry experts.

The speakers at this year’s conference included experts from such industry leaders as IBM, Blackberry, UST Global and TCS. They brought with them a wealth of information on how the field of web services is viewed by the industry. Academicians from Government College, and elsewhere brought great insight into the kind of research and study that has enabled web services to become the buzzword that it is. And, finally, entrepreneurs from our own start-up village shared the very real ways in which web services can be used to enable innovation and, not to mention make money.

The two-day conference with Web Services as the topic a second time was chosen, as it became clear early on that this field was, perhaps, the most significant of the emerging fields in Information Technology. Web Services was not only important in the industry today, but also in academia and research. Not surprisingly, the influence of Web Services in the domains of academia, industry and, research was one of the key points that a majority of the speakers touched upon.

Day 1

Welcome Address

The conference began at 10 AM, Thursday, with a welcome address by Dr. V. Raman Nair, Director at SCMS-Cochin School of Business. He was the Chief Manager(NRI Services) at the corporate office of the State Bank of Travancore and, the list of degrees he accumulated by the time he joined the SCMS family in January, 2005 is long and impressive. His areas of research are financial services and marketing of services. He currently coordinates the 'Wealth Management' course at SCMS. Although his area of expertise does not lie in the topic that was the subject of the conference, he provided the context for the conference, laid out the course of the conference and, welcomed the guests of the first day with great finesse. The guests included Mr. Varghese Cherian, Ms Annie Mathew and, Prof. Dr. K. R. Srivathsan.

 

Presidential Address

Mr. Varghese Cherian, who heads the Technology Services at UST Global, gave the presidential address of the conference. He tapped into his 19 years of experience in areas such as retail, manufacturing, healthcare imaging, aeronautics, enterprise architecture, social analytics, big data and, mobile solutions to give the audience and idea of just how big the sphere of influence of Web Services is. He explained the three perspectives through which Web Services are viewed - Industry, Technology and, Personal.

                Through the eyes of the industry, Web Services is all about providing and consuming some service. What sets Web Services apart from the rest is that it requires 24x7 availability. Availability is the key for any web service to catch on with the general populace. Long downtimes for maintainence or repair are not practical. This means that a web service must be supported by strong and reliable infrastructure. But, the beauty of web services is that it is not dependent on any specific device or architecture. It can be accessed from a devices that is completely different from the one in which it is hosted. This has great implications as it enables developers to use existing infrastructure. As an example he spoke of Waze - a traffic app that uses facebook. All this enables innovation through web service.

                The advent of the mobile app has brought upon a paradigm shift in the field of public services (among others). Previously unavailable services are now available. The cloud has truly brought the power of the internet to the palm of our hand. Combining multiple services to create a new integrated service that is greater than the sum of its parts is called a mashup. The ability to create mashup apps quickly and cheaply has made the mobile app industry lucrative for young developers.

                The Internet of Things can be fully realized with the advent of the web services industry. It would enable us to integrate the health care serrvices. Every system that a patient has to interact with in the healthcare service can be integrated into one service, available at the touch of button (or, a tap on the screen). Imagine an internet of vehicles that can transmit and receive information about the condition of the road, accidents, traffic, shortcuts and more in real time and, alert the driver accordingly. The integration of services enabled by web services can make all these things possible in the near future.

                From a technology standpoint there are many aspects that web services forces into the foreground. The architecture of the system becomes important. Do we go for a 2-tier or 3-tier model? Or, do we use MVC? How do we support fast and reliable data transfer? How do we test and deploy it on multiple systems? Along with these questions, web services also opens up several new opportunities. Distributed Computing is made easier. Processing of any information can be done on the cloud and accessed from any device that can access the cloud. There is a need to develop service oriented architectures and frameworks that make developing web services easier.

                But, the industrial and technological drive for web services will amount to nothing, unless there is a strong personal context to it. It is safe to say that Web Services is here to stay. There are several reasons to make such an observation. People have a need to know. There is always demand for knowledge and, web services satisfy that demand like no other. Web Services can provide specialized information on any subject that the user is interested in, wherever he/she is. The ability for anyone to create web services quickly and cheaply through cloud based apps is also another important factor in the increasing popularity of web services. That they can monetize it easily is just icing on the cake.

                In the midst of all these opportunities and advancements, there are issues that need to be addressed if Web Services is to live long and prosper. The ethical issues need to be resolved. There must be strong political will to make the legal framework necessary to prevent the misuse of the power of web services without stunting its growth. With all this information, both private and public, being served and consumed there must be a strong security framework to every service provided by the web.

                Mr. Varghese Cherian wrapped up his presidential address by stressing the need to bridge the gap between academia, industry and, research when it comes to web services.

Inaugural Address

Ms. Annie Mathew, Director of Alliances and Business Development at BlackBerry, India and South Asia gave the inaugural address. She is a member of the Government Industry dialogue on Healthcare and she presented India’s start-up ecosystem at the Cannes Lions festival earlier this year. She began her address with a call to turn the ideas and opportunities made possible by web services into reality.

                She spoke about the changing face of communication; about how communication has changed from a simple matter of connectivity to the wide world of mobile internet. This has brought about a shift from PCs to mobile devices as the preferred platform for the general populace. This shift has in turn reinforced the growing web services sector. Young people are the engines that drive the rise of the mobile internet. Children nowadays grow up surrounded by it and they adapt to this emerging technology faster than the adults. They have an intuitive grasp of how mobile devices work.

                The Internet of Things was again a key point. She pointed out that although the opportunities provided by an Internet of Things are vast, it is not yet fully realized. Many services continue to rely on stand-alone systems and, this leaves them ill equipped to utilize the power of the web. The Internet of Things, while an amazing idea, is hard to turn into reality.

                Technology is everywhere and it is accessible to everyone. The whole process from ideation to development to marketing is open to everyone. This gives unique opportunities to developing countries like India. The young people here have a wide variety of choices, both at the receiving end and at the servicing end. As the usage of mobile devices in India increases, more and more people become involved in social media and other aspects of the web. This increases their prospects.

                She pointed out that revenue from advertisement is not enough for most developers and that therefore this field needs to become more mature if it is to maintain its current momentum. Cross platform applications and targeted marketing will continue to become more and more important.

                She concluded the inaugural address by stressing the need for the people involved in management and marketing to work together with the people who actually develop the applications. Increasingly, proficiency in multiple fields determines how successful a CIO or a CMO is.

                                After the inaugural address, Dr.Radha Thevannoor, the Group Director of SCMS Group of Institutions and Director of SSTM, presented mementos as tokens of gratitude to the guests. Prof. Indu Nair concluded the morning session with a vote of thanks.

Keynote Address

Prof. Dr. K. R. Srivathsan, Director of Chinmaya Institute of Technology , Kannur gave the keynote address. As a man involved in the development of various cloud based education systems and frameworks across the country, he gave an excellent talk on how web services can be used to break out of the traditional models of education and provide targeted, efficient, on-demand and easily accessible education to students across a wide socioeconomic spectrum.

                Traditional models of education where students have to sit through hours of lectures in closed rooms solely for the sake of patterned mass examinations without attaining much in the way of practical skills, is cumbersome and potentially harmful to the students. Such models do not teach students how to find solutions to real world problems. They instead focus on making students attain high scores. Current educational models are also unavailable to a vast majority of talented students. A cloud based open learning environment is the solution proposed by Dr. K. R. Srivathsan.

                He argued that an open minded approach to web services based educations would provide real value to the students which in turn would provide value to the society. The shift from personal computer to personal cloud and the advent of open courses, NPTEL, Virtual Labs, Khan Academy etc., will pave the way for government independent education systems. Technology enhanced learning (TEL), flip-classes and the like will change the face of education for the better. Technology Augmented Learning and Education Environment Management (TALEEM) is a system that is currently being developed to do just that.

                But, there are several challenges. A lack of government support, bureaucratic hurdles, the highly politicized nature of our education sector and the continuing reliance on patterned mass examinations are all problems that need to be overcome if a system like TALEEM is to be fully realized. There is a need to bridge the gaps between domains of learning and liberate our education systems. Heeding the advice of the Yashpal Committee report would be a good place to start. So, how do we provide quality? What is quality education? To find answers to these questions he urges us to look at the Washington Accord.

                The Washington Accord is an international accreditation agreement with 16 signatory countries. A professional engineering degree in any one of these countries is recognized in all the other signatory countries. India is not among them. In Europe there is something similar whereby every country in the European Union recognized the degrees of every other country in the European Union. There are several criteria that must be satisfied before a country can sign on to the Washington Accord. How do we design an education system with these capabilities? How do we design foundation building courses?

                TALEEM could be the answer. It is a cloud based learning platform that provides courses to students through the cloud. Its structure is that of a wiki. Subject matter experts (SME) from anywhere can upload their course contents to TALEEM. How we learn is more important than what we learn. TALEEM provides a pedagogic path for teaching and learning. Course development and design is done by experts. This has the potential to create community driven education systems. The focus on outcome based education. Students and teachers can interact through moodle. A course web portal provides information on the courses that are available through TALEEM. TALEEM connects students and course instructors distributed across geography and separated by great distances. Teachers can get involved in the assuring the quality of their courses through a smart class management system. One of the main advantages of TALEEM is that it gives teachers the freedom to interpret the lesson plan according to his/her expertise and experience. This gives the students a more passionate learning environment.

                Dr. K. R. Srivathsan then, proposed a twin track plan to implement this new model of education. Track 1 focuses on achieving good marks and track 2 focuses on outcome oriented learning perhaps, using flip-classes. This way students and teachers can gradually adjust themselves to the track 2 process.

Later in the afternoon the plenary sessions began with Dr. Gladstone Raj, Head of Dept. Computer Science at Government College, Nedumangadu, Thiruvanthapuram. He spoke on the topic 'Web Services and the Cloud'.

The first day of the conference came to a close with presentations by three young entrepreneurs from the start-up village. Mr. Charles. S. Vincent, the Chief Product Officer at RHLvision Technologies Pvt Ltd. spoke about the touchless gesture interface that his company was currently developing. Mr. Sabarish Co-founder of SectorQube Technolabs talked about how they developed SectorQube and difficulties and hardships they endured to make their dream a reality. Finally, Midhun V. Shankar CEO & Co-founder Verbicio Tech LLP spoke about Exam Voice, the web service that helps students share knowledge and prepare for exams.

Day 2

Prof. Mariakutty Varkey, Head of the Dept. Systems and Operations at SCMS Cochin School of Business welcomed the gathering to the second day of ICWSC – 2013. The first plenary session of the second day started with Mr. Jerry Mannel Reghunath from IBM speaking on the topic ‘Web sphere’.

Mr. Jerry Mannel Reghunath

Mr. Jerry Mannel Reghunath, a Test Engineer at IBM Worklight, spoke on the new technology from IBM that allows developers to create cross platform mobile applications without having to worry about the architectural differences of various mobile devices. The ability to create cross platform applications is a great advantage in today’s web sphere.

         Traditionally when a developer creates an application he/she creates it for one specific platform. Later, when the application is successful the developer decides to expand to other platforms. In this approach the original applications needs to be either ported or rewritten. Obviously, this makes it difficult to keep track of all the various versions of the application across multiple platforms. Debugging and patching become a headache. IBM Worklight aims to provide a space to create applications independent of the target platform.

                IBM Worklight is a mobile application development platform from where applications can be developed more easily.  It provides a studio to develop apps, a console to simulate the app on a variety of devices and operating systems and, an app centre that works as a personal app store.

                He went on to give a live demonstration of the IBM Worklight development studio by creating a simple ‘Hello World’ app.

Mr. Anand Parthasarathy

                If Mr. Anand Parthasarathy were to sit down and write a resume, it would include phrases such as “Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO)”, “Anurag (the DRDO parallel processing lab)”, “Project Manager (Army) for surface-to-air missiles for the Indian Missile Programme”, “IT Correspondent and Consulting Editor for The Hindu”, “First recipient of the Polestar award for IT journalist of the year” etc. He is also the founder of Online India Tech. Mr. Anand Parthasarathy used the second plenary session of the day to share his thoughts on the impact of social media on the web sphere.

                He spoke on how quick Indian companies took to adopting the practice of BYOD (bring your own device). Many companies in India allow their employees to work using whatever devices they own. This sounds simple enough but, it comes with its own set of challenges. For instance, the web applications that support the company must be accessible from a wide range of devices. But, while implementing BYOD is difficult it is very efficient as employees can work on the same devices that they use for personal use. While he was cynical about why Indian firms encourage BYOD (cost cutting), he was quick to point out that this practice puts Indian firms ahead of several international firms.

                PCs are fast becoming outdated and people are migrating towards mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets. A trend he noticed in mobile devices was that smart phones keep getting bigger and tablets keep shrinking. He proposed, perhaps jokingly, that this would lead to a merger of smart phones and tablets into a hybrid device that is neither a phone nor a tablet, like a chimera. He bemoaned the fact that although the average price of tablets is decreasing, good tablets continues to be expensive. For simple use though, there are several affordable clones built in countries such as Taiwan.

                An industry that has been severely affected by these mobile devices is the magazine industry. Sales of magazines have taken a hit since the popularity of tablets. Many magazine vendors have now switched to e-magazines. Magzter, an Indian firm, has the world’s largest collection of digital magazines.

                He went on to speak about emerging technologies that would make web services ubiquitous such as MiFi, NFC, Pranav Mistry’s Surface Computing technology etc. He spoke about the future of such areas as journalism, rural development, empowerment of the people where web services would play a pivotal role.

                He then, spoke on how to exploit the web and the services that it provides. He talked us through the process of creating web sites and registering domain names. The next item he discussed was social media. Blogging, facebook, twitter, linkedin etc. can be used increase the public profile of a business, individual or cause.  But, he stopped to warn the audience of the way in which the web can be a double edged sword. To this end he compared the web to the urumi – a double-edged whip sword that, when used improperly, could cut off the hand of the wielder rather than his/her opponent. He stressed that if the web was not used properly, it would be better not to use it at all.

                The final point he discussed was the problem of a lack of proper legal framework both in India and abroad. There are no web compliance laws and, whatever laws there are, are not known to the general web using populace. He called for a need to better enforce copyright and privacy laws by multinational companies like Google and Microsoft.

                Prof. Indu Nair presented mementos to Mr Jerry M Reghunath and Mr. Anand Parthasarathy and Dr. Sherin Alex, Vice Principal of SSTM proposed the vote of thanks.

Mr. Rajeev Mukundan

Mr. Rajeev Mukundan heads the Insurance vertical solutions & sales for TCS Analytics and he spoke about “Business Analytics as a Service”. He began by explaining key concepts in business analytics such as data warehouse, data mining etc. Data mining is a very challenging process. How do you consolidate data from multiple customers?  How do you get knowledge from this data? How do you attain insights from this knowledge? These were the major themes of his session.

                Business analytics is a very serious issue for many companies. They aggressively compete for it. The realization that analytics can be used as a tool to achieve a competitive edge in business was the turning point in the evolution of data analytics and business intelligence. This later evolved into predictive modelling and optimization which can be used for real time analysis and decision making. As we can guess business analytics has multiple applications and is very essential. So, the question of “how quickly can you analyse?” becomes very important i.e. time is of the essence.

                The business analytics process consists of identifying a business problem, managing the data to understand the problem, developing a model, visualizing and presenting the solution and obtaining actionable insights. Some of the most important applications of business analytics are in RFM (recency frequency monetary value) modelling, developing default prediction models, call centre analytics and, social media analytics.

                Analysing Big Data is one of the most challenging aspects of business analytics. Big Data is unstructured data e.g. text documents, voice signals etc. A good understanding of the domain being analysed is also important. So, in addition to a technological background, it helps to have a good business sense.

                He discussed the ways in which business analytics could be done on the cloud. He mentioned two possibilities. The first possibility is to send the data to the cloud where it would be analysed by third-party software and returned. The second is to maintain both data and analytics software on the cloud (either on a publicly accessible cloud or a private cloud). Each approach has its own advantages and disadvantages.

                He pointed out that there is a lack of theory supporting business analytics on the cloud. He found existing models of business analytics inadequate in explaining business analytics on the cloud. He concluded his session by urging academicians to work to develop a strong foundation to this emerging field.

Mr. Manu Zachariah

Mr. Manu Zachariah, Director of HackIT Technology and Advisory Services gave what was arguably, the best talk of the conference. A list of his achievements in the field of information security is beyond the scope of this report but, the highlights include Microsoft’s Most Valued Professional award and the Asia Pacific Information Security Leadership Achievements award.

                He spoke about how the advent of the web services has brought along with many threats. The web can be a very dangerous place if we’re not careful. The dangers on the web are not limited to the cyberspace, they are very real and they have very real consequences outside the cyberspace. The web is like an iceberg. We see very little of it. There is a vast expanse of it just beneath the surface. This part of the web, called the ‘Dark Net’, is not available to muggles like us. That is the underbelly of the web and the things that lurk there are best left undisturbed.

                Even some of the major international firms like Sony do not take care of their data the way we expect them to. The stories of companies and governments alike being attacked, their data stolen, are many. There are several tools and tricks available to the enterprising criminal to crack any website and access any database so long as it is connected to the web. Mr. Manu Zachariah then walked us through some of the ways in which criminals extract information from secure locations and the tools they typically use.

                Through his demonstration of the vulnerabilities of various systems across the web he enlightened the audience to the ways in which they can be attacked and, by extension, the precautions they can take to defend themselves.

                He brought the plenary sessions to a conclusion with a very lively Q&A session where he answered several questions about information security.

Conclusion

Prof. Indu Nair presented mementos to the guests of the second day and Dr. Sherin Alex brought the two day conference to an end with her concluding remarks.