OASIS Targets Web Services Management

OASIS announces new technical committee aimed at defining a standard for Web services management.

The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) has formed a new technical committee to define Web services management.

The new OASIS Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM) Technical Committee will seek to define a standard for Web services management, which many consider among the last obstacles in front of widespread adoption of Web services and the emergence of services-oriented architectures.

Initial members of the WSDM (pronounced "wisdom") technical committee, announced Monday, include Actional Corp., BMC Software Inc., Computer Associates International Inc., Confluent Software Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., Hitachi Ltd., IBM Corp., Novell Inc., OpenNetwork Technologies Inc., SeeBeyond Technology Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc. Waveset Technologies Inc., webMethods Inc., and others, OASIS officials said.

Winston Bumpus, director of standards at Novell and co-chair of the OASIS WSDM technical committee, said the group will look at two pieces of the Web services management equation: using Web services as a management infrastructure and how to describe a Web service to be managed.

Bumpus said the WSDM group is actually the re-emergence of another group that formed under OASIS last year to focus on a Web services management protocol. "After several calls and meetings it became apparent that we needed to focus further," he said. "And due to OASIS rules we had to restart under a new name and charter."

WSDM will work closely with other industry groups focusing on Web services management, including the Distributed Management Task Force, which Bumpus presides over, and the World Wide Web Consortiums (W3C) Web Architecture Working Group, which WSDM co-chair Heather Kreger chairs. WSDM also will align its activities with the Global Grid Forum, and the group will work with other groups within OASIS that focus on Web services security on Web services-related issues.

"We are targeting version 1 of the specification [for Web services management] being delivered in January 2004," Bumpus said. "Just like security in Web services, theres a lot of work going on, but there needs to be a well-defined industry standard," he added.

James Phillips, senior vice president at Mountain View, Calif.-based Actional, said, "There is clearly a need in the marketplace for a standard that facilitates the sort of work were doing. Thats an important piece of the equation, but its going to take some time to come to pass. Meanwhile, companies like Actional are innovating now and meeting customers needs now."

Added Bumpus: "We hope we can pull the wisdom of some of the best minds in the industry to bring this specification together."

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