IBM, Microsoft and BEA team up on Web services

IBM, Microsoft, and BEA Systems are set to announce a joint venture to promote Web standards defined by the World Wide Web...

IBM, Microsoft, and BEA Systems are set to announce a joint venture to promote Web standards defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Organisation for the Advancement Of Structured Information Standards (OASIS).

The purpose of the new group, called the Web Service Interoperability Organisation, is to campaign to educate developers on building Web services and act as an advocate for building block standards such as Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI), and the Web Services Description Language (WSDL).

The group will be actively encouraging the consistency of future Web services standards addressing capabilities such as transactions management systems, security, identification, and authorisation.

"This group will not be all about developing new standards, but making sure existing ones like SOAP and UDDI interoperate well," said an industry source familiar with the group's charter. "They are not coming up with some silver bullet that makes Java and .Net interoperate better or bigger scale things like that," he said.

Members of the new group, particularly IBM and Microsoft, may use it as a platform to also educate users and developers about the different approaches each may take in implementing Web services .

"I think the real story here is trying to ensure a solid and level playing field for all participants, but it is also about the battle for the hearts, minds, and wallets for the developers of Web services," said another industry source. "There is more than a little money to be made with Web services in the future," he added.

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