UDDI Spec Now Under OASIS

Move shows standards body is leader in Web services space, draws positive response.

The organization for the advancement of Structured Information Standards last week solidified its standing as a top Web services standards body when it moved to absorb the Universal Description, Discovery and Integration specification.

The move came a month after Microsoft Corp., IBM and Veri- Sign Inc. decided to submit the WS-Security (Web Services Security) specification to OASIS, which some observers saw as a snub to other standards bodies.

OASIS continues to work closely with other standards bodies. Later this month, OASIS and the World Wide Web Consortium will host a Web services security seminar.

But the decision by UDDI.orgs working group to give the specification to OASIS drew a positive response last week.

"The move to OASIS is an expected, and important, step in the development of UDDI as a standard," said Jason Bloomberg, an analyst with ZapThink LLC, in Cambridge, Mass. "Theres no question, however, that vendors are reluctant to turn a specification over to any standards body until much of the work has been completed, which is what happened with UDDI."

"We are definitely in support of UDDI moving into the OASIS realm and being under more of a true standards body," said Justin Taylor, chief strategist for directory services at Novell Inc., where he focuses on UDDI.

Taylor, in Provo, Utah, said that although OASIS "does not have a title like Web Services Interoperability Forum, they are a catalyst for Web services standardization and support. They have already been there."

The UDDI community effort, now under the auspice of OASIS, comprises more than 300 business and technology leaders working to enable companies and applications to quickly, easily and dynamically find and use Web services.

As a cornerstone of the emerging Web services architecture, UDDI, introduced in 2000, is aimed at creating an open, platform-independent specification. As a part of the UDDI project, UDDI Business Registry has been established to allow businesses to publish and discover Web services.

UDDI.org, after releasing the third version of the UDDI specification last week, announced it was turning over the specification to OASIS. The decision to give it to OASIS came after a closed ballot vote by the organizations 13-company working group, said George Zagelow, IBMs program manager for UDDI and managing director of the UDDI Operators Council.

The group chose OASIS from among eight groups overall, said Zagelow, who will be the new steering committee chair of the UDDI section of OASIS. He declined to name the other groups.

"OASIS had some characteristics considered very favorable to us," said Zagelow, in San Jose, Calif. "One thing was that we could quickly form a member section in the organization and organize it any way we wanted to, including moving the existing organization over intact."

OASIS President and CEO Patrick Gannon said the organization has done a lot of the groundwork to be a leader in the Web services space.

"We feel its a natural [to have UDDI under OASIS]," said Gannon, in Santa Clara, Calif. "We have been doing a number of activities in the Web services area. Two things weve been doing for some time include defining standards in the e-business area, and weve been working with security in the Web services area."

Gannon said what people are seeing with the UDDI move and the WS-Security initiative is "the more visible side" of what OASIS does around Web services but that the body has been doing "the foundation work" on e-business standards focusing on XML.

The transition delivers on the goals laid out in the UDDI projects original charter, IBMs Zagelow said. Existing business registries will continue to be made available by registry operators.

Version 3 of the UDDI specification provides increased security features, improved Web Services Description Language support, support for multiregistry topologies and a new subscription API to enable UDDI users to receive notifications on services and changes to the UDDI registry, OASIS officials said.