Group releases interoperable web services guidelines

The Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I), whose 170 members include suppliers and user companies, announced the...

The Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I), whose 170 members include suppliers and user companies, announced the availability of its Basic Profile 1.0 guidelines, which detail how a set of core web services specifications should be used to build interoperable web services.

In developing the Basic Profile, the WS-I addressed about 200 problematic issues related to the specifications and their interoperability, said Steven VanRoekel, director of web services at Microsoft.

The WS-I has also pledged to release test tools that can be used to check if an application is compliant with the Basic Profile. Test tools are due this autumn for both the Java and C# development environments.

Sample applications are also scheduled to be made available to provide developers design, implementation, test and deployment scenarios in various business situations on 10 different platforms.

The Basic Profile guidelines are intended for suppliers, large corporations and industry consortia developing software and tools that can be used to write web services, said Jason Bloomberg, an analyst at ZapThink.

"A lot of the grey areas with the basic web services standards are now resolved, and we can move on to the more challenging areas: security, management, reliability and transactions," Bloomberg said.

The WS-I is continuing work on Version 1.1 of the Basic Profile, which will add support for attachments in Soap-based messages and on the Basic Security Profile.

But it remains unclear what the WS-I's plans are for Soap 1.2, according to VanRoekel. The latest version of Soap, which the World Wide Web Consortium finalised in June, brings substantial improvements over the 1.1 edition that became the de facto standard among suppliers.

Tom Glover, chairman of the WS-I, has said that the group will consider incorporating Soap 1.2 into a future version of the Basic Profile.

The WS-I's membership includes major suppliers such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft and Oracle and enterprise users such as Charles Schwab and Merrill Lynch.

Carol Sliwa writes for Computerworld

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