WS-I Folds Tents, Transfers Efforts to OASIS

After more than eight years of service, the Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I) has announced it has completed its mission and is transferring ongoing efforts to OASIS.

After nearly a decade of operation, the Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I) is folding its tents and considering its work done.

WS-I announced in July of 2010 that it would be transitioning its work to the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Systems (OASIS). WS-I formed in 2002 during the heyday of web services as software systems designed to support interoperable machine-to-machine interaction over a network. IBM and Microsoft led a group of more than 50 companies in founding WS-I. Yet, web services are now baked into the fabric of modern systems and no longer needs an interoperability organization.

In a press release on the news of its transition, WS-I officials said the organization has successfully concluded its charter to document best practices for Web services interoperability across multiple platforms, operating systems and programming languages.

The release of WS-I member approved final materials for Basic Profile (BP) 1.2 and 2.0, and Reliable Secure Profile (RSP) 1.0 fulfills WS-I's last milestone as an organization. By publishing the final three profiles, WS-I marks the completion of its work. Stewardship over WS-I's assets, operations and mission will transition to OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards), a group of technology vendors and customers that drive development and adoption of open standards.

Since 2002, WS-I has developed profiles, sample applications, and testing tools to facilitate Web services interoperability. These building blocks have in turn served as the basis for interoperability in the cloud. Companies from across the industry have collaborated to build an interoperable Web services foundation that will benefit customers well into the future, WS-I officials said.

"Gratifying" is how Steve Holbrook, chair of the WS-I Board of Directors, described the news of WS-I shuttering its operations. "Each member of WS-I has contributed to this massive and lengthy undertaking for the benefit of the greater Web community," Holbrook said in a statement. "This work was only possible through the cooperation, commitment and shared vision of each WS-I member organization."

"WS-I's significant contribution to Web services interoperability will continue to play a vital role in the future of IT, especially with regard to cloud computing, where safe and reliable access to information is a requirement," said Laurent Liscia, executive director of OASIS, in a statement. "As WS-I completes its transition to OASIS; we look forward not only to safeguarding their accomplishments but also to advancing their mission."

"IBM is very pleased that WS-I has completed its mission, said Angel Diaz, vice president of software standards at IBM, in a statement. "As a co-founder of WS-I, IBM has provided both executive and technical leadership during the creation, testing and implementation of eight profiles. The approval of the final three profiles addresses an important set of requirements of our customers, which is always the goal of IBM. Our customers are the biggest benefactors of this work. The WS-I profiles have helped to vastly improve interoperability between our WebSphere family products and the other Vendors' products, making it easier to integrate solutions in a multi-vendor environment. Congratulations to all those who participated in WS-I! We look forward to future work being done in the new WS-I member section of OASIS as well as having a viable 'home' for the existing WS-I Profiles."

Meanwhile, in a Nov. 10 blog post, Paul Cotton, partner group manager at Microsoft, described Microsoft's involvement in the WS-I.