Web services standards organizations have been making moves to improve the performance, effectiveness and enterprise-readiness of Web services.
The Cambridge, Mass.-based World Wide Web Consortium announced new recommendations this week for standards relating to Web services performance and efficiency. The new recommendations work with the SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) 1.2 specification to deliver a standard way to transmit large binary files and data, which helps to improve performance, W3C officials said.
The first specification, XOP (XML-binary Optimized Packaging), represents a standard way to include binary data with an XML document in a package.
The second specification, MTOM (Message Transformation Optimization Mechanism), employs XOP to address SOAP messages and optimize transmission of the messages.
The third recommendation is known as the RRSHB (Resource Representation SOAP Header Block), which enables SOAP message receivers to access cached versions of the content in the message.
In instances where bandwidth or size restrictions might come into play, RRSHB gives users the choice of accessing the original file or a cached copy.
Mark Nottingham, senior principal technologist at BEA Systems, Inc., said in a statement, “BEA Systems is extremely pleased that the XOP, MTOM and RRSHB specifications have been approved as W3C Recommendations. Together, these specifications will allow Web services extensions and applications to retain an XML Infoset model for all content, retaining interoperability with the existing stack of XML tools and specifications. Additionally, XOP is an important step towards the improvement of XML performance.”
Don Box, a software architect at Microsoft, said in a statement, “Microsoft is committed to MTOM as the definitive solution for including opaque data in XML and SOAP messages, and we plan to implement support for MTOM across our XML-aware product line.”
Meanwhile, OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) initiated final voting this month on the latest version of the UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration) specification, version 3.0. The actual version sent out to vote on is version 3.0.2, said Luc Clement, senior program manager at Systinet Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., and co-chair of the OASIS UDDI technical committee.
UDDI is a Web-based distributed directory that enables businesses to list themselves on the Internet and discover each other, similar to a traditional phone books yellow and white pages. The UDDI registry is both a white pages business directory and a technical specifications library.
Version 3 of the specification was initially released in July 2002, Clement said, “with the guiding principal of making the spec enterprise ready. Now its been two years and we have gone through two sets of errata and we can see that our assumptions were right on.”
Clement, who said he has been involved with UDDI since 2001, said UDDI 3.0 went out for final vote on Jan. 15 and he expects to see the specification completed by Jan. 31.
One of the features in UDDI 3.0 that help make the specification enterprise ready is the “ability to define your own keys. You need to have well-known interfaces and identities, and version 3 allows you generate your own keys,” Clement said.
Version 3.0 also includes the ability to support change management, and also includes the ability to support data integrity and nonrepudiation of data.
“We provided the ability to support digital signatures to ensure the integrity of the data,” Clement said.
Meanwhile, Tony Rogers, a senior architect at Computer Associates International Inc. of Islandia, N.Y., and cochair of the OASIS UDDI technical committee, said he finds it noteworthy that other standards groups have adopted the UDDI specification in their work, such as the WS-I (Web Services Interoperability Organization), which maps policy to the UDDI registry.
“Version 3 has been out in the real world for a long time,” Rogers said. “Its out there and being beaten on in real life.” Clement said Systinet has been among the first to implement UDDI 3.0 and to put a product on the market. Clement said, “Weve had support for version 3 for about eight months.”
And this month the company began shipping the latest release of its Web services infrastructure platform, which adds a business services registry on top of UDDI, he said.