WS-I to Announce Election Results

The Web Services Interoperability Organization will announce the results of its board elections Wednesday.

The Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I) will announce the results of its board elections Wednesday, sources said.

WS-I officials said the election results are in after the membership voted on who should fill two new slots on the WS-I board of directors.

Initially, WS-I officials had said the results would be announced Friday, and an announcement on the formation of a new working group focused on the WS-I Basic Security Profile was to be made earlier in the week, but so as not to muddle the news, the security news will be announced next week, sources said.

However, of the nominees in the running, sources say two prospects tend to stand out. Sun Microsystems Inc.s Mark Hapner, the companys lead architect for Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) and chief Web services strategist for Java Web services; and Andy Astor, vice president of Web services at webMethods Inc., are viewed as front-runners by some observers. VeriSign Inc. had been considered a front-runner, but the company missed some working group meetings during the nomination period and became ineligible to run for this years election. VeriSign will have another opportunity to run for the board in next years elections.

Ronald Schmelzer, an analyst with ZapThink LLC, a Cambridge, Mass., market research firm, said: "It would be ironic if Sun did not get in because Sun is the reason they are having this election in the first place."

WebMethods Astor said he believes his company deserves a WS-I board seat and would perform well on the board because "WS-I is in the business of making Web services interoperate across platforms and webMethods is too. The missions of the two are quite strikingly similar. We have been doing Web services integration since before Web services had a name."

When the WS-I formed in February of last year, webMethods immediately became a member and has since contributed to WS-I in many ways, including serving as editor of the WS-I Basic Profile and participating in the group focusing on Web services security, Astor said.

In addition, webMethods brings platform independence to the Web services world, Astor said. "We are not J2EE [Java 2 Enterprise Edition] or .Net or legacy systems only, we support all."

Astor also said webMethods would bring a different perspective to the board, in that it is much smaller than the other members of the board, which includes Microsoft Corp., IBM, BEA Systems Inc., Intel Corp. and Oracle Corp. among its nine board members.

"All the companies on the board are multi-billion dollar companies, and we think the board needs representation from some of the smaller companies," Astor said. He said webMethods "is at about a $200 million run rate."

As a board member, Astor said he would focus on broadening WS-I membership. "Right now we have about 160 members and more than 80 percent are software vendors," he said. "Thats fine, but theres a need to increase the membership into IT organizations and systems integrators, etc., because that audience includes the people who should be defining what WS-I should be developing."

Astor also noted that one of his personal priorities is to accelerate the profile groups and, in particular, delve more deeply into Web services management as an area of focus.

The election results will be announced Wednesday, and the new members will begin serving their terms on April 1. The member gaining the most votes will serve a two-year term and the one getting fewer votes will serve for one year on the board.

In addition to Astor and Suns Hapner, the nominated companies and individuals are Jorgen Thelin, chief scientist at Cape Clear; Juhani Murto, senior manager of Web services architecture at Nokia; and Ugo Corda, principal standards analyst at SeeBeyond.

WS-Is security working group news, regarding progress made by the group headed by Eve Maler, an XML standards architect at Sun, will be announced next week, sources said.

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