Web Services Standards at Risk
Security and transaction standards are needed.Web services standards have the potential to reignite enterprise IT investment: They offer the prospect of greater flexibility for buyers, competition among vendors and rapid savings on internal application integration. (See the eWeek Labs report on Web services.) But these bright prospects are threatened bywhat else?a looming standards war. Recent reports of an opening rift between erstwhile Web services standards partners IBM and Microsoft were met with shrugs and knowing nods by developers and IT managers who have seen this sort of thing before. Bitter rivals such as IBM and Microsoft couldnt be expected to remain in agreement on Web services standards forever, they said.
Until now, IBM and Microsoft have done an admirable job collaborating on core Web services standards such as SOAP, UDDI and WSDL. This has given many developers and IT managers a measure of confidence to invest time and money in Web services. However, before enterprises can take the next step, incorporating Web services technologies into mission-critical applications, they will require an additional set of standards covering such key areas as security and transaction management.