IBM and Microsoft also

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2004-04-08 Print this article Print

hammering on interoperability"> Last year, in a very public display of Web services interoperability, Bill Gates—Microsofts chairman and chief software architect—and Steve Mills, senior vice president of IBMs Software Group, demonstrated interoperability between their systems. IBM is a co-author of the WS-Security specification. IBM and Microsoft had been working independently on solving some of the problems related to Web services security but decided to join forces to "augment" their work, Shewchuk said.
He said early on the group got together in Chicago and "hashed through a scenario where [IBMs] WebSphere could talk to .Net through open standards."
Then in a meeting in March of 2002 at the San Francisco airport, IBM and Microsoft engineers met to hash out the core WS-Security specification and to set a roadmap whereby that foundational specification would lead to subsequent ones like WS-Trust and WS-SecureConversation, he said. The date is fresh in Shewchuks mind because not only was the WS-Security specification born—so too was his daughter. "Its really exciting to see the industry as a whole coalesce around this," Shewchuk said. According to a joint white paper from IBM and Microsoft describing the WS-Security specification and security roadmap, "While WS-Security is the cornerstone of this effort, it is only the beginning, and we will cooperate with the industry to produce additional specifications that will deal with policy, trust and privacy issues." "WS-Security is really the linchpin spec to take Web services beyond the basic interchange of information," Shewchuk said. "Ratification of WS-Security is a significant step in addressing one of the most challenging barriers to successful Web services adoption: security," said Schmelzer. "By getting some sense of unity behind these specs, we can expect companies to look more seriously at Web services as a technology they can reliably implement in and between their organizations. Now that WS-Security has passed this milestone, we hope that end-user and vendor companies and the WS-I [Web Services Interoperability Organization] back the spec as a sure thing rather than pitch equivalent alternatives that might slow the adoption of Web services going forward." Said Shewchuk: "If you really need to go beyond this thing being a toy to something that enables business, this is the spec that does that." Meanwhile, in other OASIS news, OASIS announced plans to host a Symposium on Reliable Infrastructures for XML, April 26-27 in New Orleans. In a statement, Chet Ensign, director of architecture at Lexis Publishing Inc. and chair of the Program Committee of the OASIS Technical Advisory Board, said, "Today, many different (and partially interchangeable) technologies are available that propose to increase the reliability of XML-based messaging and networking infrastructure. We define reliable to mean that implementing one or more of these technologies in an infrastructure removes some of the burden of ensuring application integrity from software programmers and architects." Editors Note: This story was updated from its original posting to change the headline. Check out eWEEKs Developer & Web Services Center at for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools. Be sure to add our developer and Web services news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page:  

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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