Microsoft, IBM Spec Finds XML Web Services

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2001-11-01

Microsoft Corp. and IBM on Thursday announced a new specification aimed at helping developers search the Web for XML-based Web services.

The Web Services Inspection spec, or WS-Inspection, defines how an application can discover Web service descriptions on a Web server, even if it is not listed in the UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration) registries, which itself acts as a sort of Yellow Pages for Web services.

UDDI also was pioneered by Microsoft, of Redmond, Wash., and IBM, of Armonk, N.Y. The companies expect to submit WS-Inspection to a standards body soon.

As a way of discovering XML (Extensible Markup Language) Web services, the new spec presents a standard way of locating and retrieving WSDL (Web Services Description Language) documents and other service descriptions by browsing a single Web server.

It also enables Web service providers to group sets of related service descriptions and provides a way to correlate Web services with other types of content, such as HTML pages, according to both companies.

WS-Inspection implementations are incorporated in the latest version of IBM Web Services ToolKit 2.4.1, which can be downloaded for free at

SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) Discovery, which WS-Inspection complements, is built into Microsofts Visual Studio .Net, and the WS-Inspection capabilities for Visual Studio .Net can be downloaded for free from Microsofts developer network Web site at

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