IBM says this could be the year for UDDI

An upcoming version of UDDI - Universal Description, Discovery and Integration - could give the web services directory technology...

An upcoming version of UDDI - Universal Description, Discovery and Integration - could give the web services directory technology the boost it needs to spur adoption, an IBM official claimed at a conference on Wednesday.

Version 3 of UDDI, which was formulated last summer, is likely to be voted on by Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (Oasis) later this year, said Tom Bellwood, senior technology staff member in IBM's emerging technologies group and co-chairman of an Oasis technical committee on UDDI.

Bellwood gave a presentation on UDDI Version 3 at the IBM developerWorksLive conference in New Orleans.

Version 3 will help the adoption of UDDI in publicly available applications rather than the private, behind the firewall where it has primarily been used, said Bellwood during an interview following his presentation.

"In a public environment, I think that it needs a lot of the features in Version 3," he said, citing features such as security and a multi-registry model.

The security model in Version 3 allows for use of digital signatures and for querying based on data that has been signed.

Digital signatures bring trust, integrity, and reliability to UDDI, Bellwood said. Users also can find out who published a specific directory item and data can be moved between registries. "I think Version 3 is probably the basis for which really all UDDI work will be done" in the future, Bellwood said.

The multi-registry feature enables private and public registries that can interact with each other. There will be root and affiliate registries, with root registry acting as authority for key spaces, which are analogous to DNS names. The root registry delegates key partitions. Affiliate registries follow rules of a particular root registry and are important for sharing of information but not replication.

Version 3 also enables federated environments for publishers to specify their own keys. "It used to be you had one of these things assigned for you," Bellwood said. The nested query function Version 3 enables queries within queries, which is important for tool providers, he added.

The subscription concept in Version 3 allows tracking of content changes in a UDDI registry and can be done either asynchronously or synchronously. Subscriptions can provide for automatic updates in affiliate registries, such as keeping a business informed of changes in suppliers or competitors.

Version 3 also features a policy-based approach in which policies are separated from the implementation of the specification, providing for more flexibility.

Additionally, Version 3 is schema-driven, in which schemas have been separated for improved interoperability, Bellwood said. Version 3 also enables development of industry-specific taxonomies, has peer-based replication for improved scaling, and has improved internationalisation.

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