Specifically, Vignette will arm V6 with support for SOAP and WSDL (Web Services Description Language), which form the current core of emerging standards most often associated with Web services along with XML and UDDI.
Support for SOAP and WSDL will allow content management processes to be exposed as a Web service, thereby reducing the cost and complexity of content or application sharing, according to the company.
V6 features native support for Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) and .net environments, as well as support for XML. The new Web services-based content management process exposes content objects through an XML-based API, wraps the objects in a SOAP envelope, and deploys it to an active directory that is used by other companies to find the Web service they want, according to Santi Pierini, Vignette's vice-president of product strategy.
"The only step that changes in the V6 deployment is now there is one additional step of calling a Web services interface to allow the packaging of content objects as a Web service," Pierini said.
"When you wrap that content management capability in a Web service, the purchasing systems, for example, can be feeding suggestions to purchasing applications directly," Pierini said. "Web services allow us to get to the next level, to remove the human bottleneck at the process level, and then bring the human back into play where it makes sense."
Vignette is in a unique position to drive Web services because of content management's role as a unification layer for different systems within an enterprise, Pierini said. Once the application servers have Web services support, there will be a long lag for application vendors to show up with compliant offerings, he added.
"As content management we can fill a gap for quite some time before app vendors are ready," he said. "This allows us to help a variety of companies satisfy a Web services promise much sooner than if they had to wait for all their apps to be Web services-compliant."
According to Rikki Kirzner, research director for application development and deployment at IDC, content management will play an important role in Web services because part of the application being served will be content.
Vignette's strategy encompasses both Microsoft .net and Java Web services architectures, which is important for customers, she said. Kirzner added that the industry is still far from achieving anything concrete with Web services.
"It is just an added assurance if customers go to Web services [that] the tools and capabilities they depend on [for] dealing with code or content will have a continuity to it," Kirzner said.