Although working in lock step with partners on every other important Web services standard, Microsoft Corp. on Monday took a step on its own to advance Web services capabilities.
The company announced the availability of the technical preview for the Microsoft Web Services Development Kit (WSDK), which provides the tools developers need to build advanced Web services applications using the latest Web services specifications, such as WS-Security, WS-Routing and WS-Attachments.
The WSDK incorporates Microsofts recent work with partners such as IBM and VeriSign Inc. and also with customers to develop Web services specifications beyond XML and the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), such as WS-Security, that address the core challenges of Web services in a way that is broadly interoperable across heterogeneous systems.
In addition, the specifications are designed to be modular so developers using Microsofts WSDK can incorporate a specific specification functionality, on an as-needed basis, into the different levels of their Web services applications.
The core features included in the technology preview of the Microsoft WSDK include security, such as the ability to help secure XML Web services across platforms and trust domains, including digital signing and encryption of SOAP messages that are compliant with the WS-Security specification.
In addition, the WSDK includes routing, which is the ability to route an XML Web service through intermediaries using the WS-Routing specification, which describes how to place message addresses in the SOAP message header and enables SOAP messages to travel serially to multiple destinations along a message path.
Microsofts WSDK is available for free on the MSDN developer Web site, and makes it easier for developers to write and implement advanced Web services specifications by enhancing Visual Studio .Net and the Microsoft .Net Framework, officials of the Redmond, Wash., company said.
In addition, Microsoft said communication between XML Web services could contain attachments that are not serialized into XML. The WSDK provides the ability to add attachments to SOAP messages following the WS-Attachments specification, jointly submitted with IBM to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in July.