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 www.alphaworks.ibm.com.
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 msdn.microsoft.com/code/default.asp?url=/code/sample.asp?url=/msdn-files/026/002/541/msdncompositedoc.xml.