Standardizing Web Services Nears Completion

 
 
By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2002-08-28
 
 
 
BOSTON--The effort to standardize the Web services arena is but six to nine months from completion, but the work necessary to implement all the standards to create a totally services-oriented architecture is at least a year to two years away, according to one IBM executive.

Robert Sutor, IBMs director of e-business standards strategy, demonstrated at the XML Web Services One conference here interoperability between an IBM WebSphere-based Web services system and a Microsoft Corp. .Net Web services system. The scenario included a client, a brokerage house and trade desks at an institution, where each point was able to swap code between WebSphere and .Net.

"The demo showed the degree to which WebSphere and .Net could interoperate on a standard level," Sutor said. The demonstration used the SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), WSDL (Web Services Description Language), WS-Security and WS-Attachments.

"Its really important to show these pieces at work as we move up the stack to show that Web services is not a dream but is real," he said.

There is still work to be done on Web services security, but the recent move of the WS-Security specification into the OASIS standards organization should help to move that forward, according to Sutor. Indeed, he said, business processing, workflow, transactions and systems management are going to be big areas for the future.

"Well be spending the next couple of years in standards organizations finalizing these things," Sutor said. "The standardization work will continue, but for the big picture weve only got six to nine months on this."

Regarding business processing, Sutor said, "The absolutely major use of Web services will be on business integration. We bought CrossWorlds [Software Inc.]" for the business integration capabilities.

Meanwhile, Sutor said the Web Services Interoperability organization, which IBM founded with Microsoft, BEA Systems Inc. and other companies, has played a crucial role already in the Web services arena. "With WS-I theres much better liaison between OASIS and the W3C [Worldwide Web Consortium]."

"Web services allows us to move beyond the basic plumbing to drive the interesting solutions. … We cant pretend everyone in the world is using Java and only Java. We need to show Web services at work," Sutor said.

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