WS-I tackles web services attachments

The Web Services Interoperability Organisation (WS-I) will release three profiles intended to make it easier to send attachments...

The Web Services Interoperability Organisation (WS-I) will release three profiles intended to make it easier to send attachments using web services technologies.

The organisation is publishing Basic Profile 1.1, Attachments Profile 1.0, and Simple Soap Binding Profile 1.0 as “Final Material”, a designation which indicates these profiles have been formally approved by WS-I. Compatibility prpblems with web services attachments are addressed by the profiles.

Developers can use the profiles as a mechanism for building attachment-enabled applications that can interoperate, according to WS-I. It defines its profiles as sets of web services specifications that work together to support specific types of products.

“This represents the culmination of work we’ve done on incorporating support for Soap Messages with Attachments [SwA] into the original Basic Profile 1.0,” said Chris Ferris, chairman of the WS-I Basic Profile Working Group and a senior technical staff member at IBM.

SwA defines a Mime-related structure for packaging attachments with Soap messages and is classified as a World Wide Web Consortium note.

SwA helps to send a graphical image, such as MPEG or JPEG file or medical image, via web services, Ferris said. “These things can be very large and their content is binary. It’s not XML,” he said.

Releasing the new profiles enables web services that use attachments to be tested for compliance with a composition of Basic Profile 1.1 and Attachments Profile 1.0.

Web services not using attachments can be tested to see if they conrm to a composition of Basic Profile 1.1 and Simple Soap Binding Profile 1.0.

The new profiles reveal that the web services market is growing up and that interoperability for attachments requires standard interfaces, said Ronald Schmelzer, senior analyst at ZapThink.

“Companies realise that to gain the benefits of interoperability, proprietary binary protocols and formats simply won't cut it. That's the whole point of XML and web services - standardising the interfaces between systems and companies,” Schmelzer said.

Basic Profile 1.1, the follow-up to Basic Profile 1.0, describes how core web services specifications should be used to develop interoperable web services. Specific to this document is a set of non-proprietary web services specifications and clarifications, refinements, interpretations, and amplifications to boost interoperability.

Simple Soap Binding Profile 1.0 defines an XML structure for transmitting messages, called the envelope. This profile mandates the use of that structure and places constraints on its use. The binding profile is derived from Basic Profile 1.0 requirements related to the serialisation of the envelope and its representation in the message. Additionally, the profile pertains to the ability to compose bindings which do not clash with one another.

Paul Krill writes for Infoworld

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