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This paper proposes a means to specify the semantics of fault tolerant web services at an abstract level using semantics adapted from queuing system theory. A framework that supports the implementation of specified fault-tolerance is also described. Based on the paper, the authors show how the redundancy and diversity characteristics of a service-oriented system can be expressed and implemented in a web-service application. As mission-critical domains such as the emergency, and financial services embrace Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), they will stimulate a demand for service-based systems that, in order to satisfy stringent dependability requirements, are fault-tolerant. Coincidentally, from the supply side, they are likely to see service providers offering competing, functionally equivalent services.
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