WS-I Casts Eye on New Profiles

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2004-02-16

As the Web services Interoperability Organization turns 2 this month, the group is looking forward to releasing new drafts and tools. Since establishing a base set of specifications for creating interoperable Web services in the past year, the group is now looking at how it will handle attachments and security.

WS-I now offers developers the flexibility to use their preferred method of handling attachments. The group last fall decided that SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) HTTP bindings information didnt belong in the 1.0 BP (Basic Profile) and took it out, said Tom Glover, president and chairman of WS-I, based in Wakefield, Mass.

"What weve done is split it away into a different profile," Glover said. "We have a draft of BP 1.1, which, in essence, is BP 1.0 with some fixes and with the SOAP HTTP bindings stripped away."

WS-I has Basic Profile 1.0 complete and drafts of BP 1.1 and an attachments profile. "We should have final profiles in the second quarter of the year," Glover said. Sample applications and tools will follow by six to nine months, he said.

WS-Is security working group, chaired by Paul Cotton, program manager of XML standards at Microsoft Corp., has been working on two documents: a use case document that catalogs and prioritizes security threats and the WS-I Basic Security Profile itself. The usage scenario document is being readied for public comment. The Basic Security Profile is in editorial draft, soon to move to working group draft. It should be available for public comment late next quarter, Glover said.

WS-I delivered BP 1.0 in August. It provides guidelines for how SOAP 1.1; Web Services Description Language 1.1; Universal Description, Discovery and Integration 2.0; XML 1.0; and XML Schema should interoperate.

"I think [WS-I is] very important," said Tony Scott, chief technology officer for General Motors Corp.s information systems and services organization, in Detroit. "The worst thing for a company like GM is to have multiple incompatible standards in a given space. And especially if any of them get critical mass, we end up supporting them in GM, and its just a matter of math. If there are two standards, somebodys going to find a compelling reason to use both of them."

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