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By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2003-08-12 Print this article Print

Jason Bloomberg, an analyst with ZapThink LLC, Cambridge, Mass., has a different view. "At this point in time, the WS-I faces two great challenges, one internal and one external," Bloomberg said. "Their internal challenge is recruiting more IT end-user members. To be truly relevant, they must have a balance between vendors and end-users, and their membership is currently skewed toward vendors.
"The second challenge they face is one of timing. Because the WS-I interprets standards but does not create them, they necessarily lag the market. So while the difficult Web services standards questions being hammered out today involve security, reliability and management, the WS-I Basic Profile concerns SOAP and WSDL. Theres nothing the WS-I can do to accelerate their process, but this fact does diminish the appearance of relevance in the short term," he said.
Ron Schmelzer, Bloombergs ZapThink colleague added: "In general, I think the WS-I is doing a good job of staying above the fray in the current, noisy Web services specifications environment. As they establish the value of the WS-I Profiles, hopefully software vendors will realize that its in their best interests to make sure they are all truly interoperable. Having the WS-Is stamp of approval will be one way to prove to the public that they are as interoperable as they claim. As the WS-I tackles more tricky profiles—such as security, management and process—these stamps of approval will become increasingly more important." Microsoft issued a statement on the WS-I news, which said: "Microsoft applauds the ratification of the Basic Profile 1.0, and sees it as a significant milestone, taking the industry a step closer to ensuring Web services are able to interoperate across heterogeneous systems. With companies across the industry providing support for the Basic Profile 1.0, such as Microsofts support in technologies such as Visual Studio .NET and the .NET Framework, we expect the momentum to continue towards the industrys goal of interoperability." Bob Sutor, director of WebSphere Infrastructure Software at IBM, said IBM is the first major company to provide support for WS-I BP 1.0. "WebSphere Studio offers support to make sure the Web services you create are in tune with the Basic Profile and you can validate it." The WS-I announced that more than 25 WS-I member companies announced support for the Basic Profile.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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