IBM acknowledges bypassing UDDI; calls for new SOA registry standard

IBM says that the UDDI standard for registries isn't cutting it, and the time is now for a new registry standard more focused on today's SOA realities.

IBM spokespeople are saying that the UDDI standard for registries isn't cutting it, and the "time is now" for a new registry standard more focused on today's SOA realities. In the meantime, IBM will be offering a proprietary solution.

In a new report in ITWeek, IBM managers state that SOAs have stretched the Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI) web services standard to the limit, and that it's time for a new standard.

"Our clients are telling us that they have an integration pain point," Andrew Hately, a manager at IBM's Software Group, said. "We need to [create a new standard] and the time is now."

A few days ago, I posted news that Burton Group's Anne Thomas Manes had just issued a report that IBM's WebSphere Service Registry and Repository (WSRR) 6.0.1 doesn't fully support UDDI, the commonly accepted standard behind SOA registries.

Manes pointed to the irony that IBM was one of the creators of UDDI, and has stated that the standard is essential for communicating the availability and composition of services among multiple environments. In a recent post, she said IBM's diss of UDDI amounts to a proprietary strategy reminiscent of days of old:

"The soon-to-be released WSRR v6.0.2 [WebSphere Service Registry and Repository] will include a UDDI synchronization framework, which will enable reasonable coexistence between WSRR and a separate UDDI registry. IBM even includes a separate UDDI registry with the product. But I don’t think this makes up for the fact that WSRR does not directly support the UDDI protocol or for the fact that IBM has chosen to implement support for WSRR’s proprietary registry protocol rather than UDDI in its plethora of runtime products. This is clearly a proprietary platform strategy."

IBM, however, says that UDDI was originally designed for Web services, which invoke point-to-point connections across the network. (In fact, it was designed to be the "Yellow Pages" of the e-business world.) But what enterprises need now is a registry standard that addresses the building-block, enterprise approach of SOA, Big Blue says.

SOAs require different information about services than do Web services, IBM claimed. According to Sunil Murthy, a manager for WebSphere Service Registry and Repository at IBM's Software Group, UDDI will not allow for role-based access to services, does not let companies manage a service's life cycle to enable governance, and does not allow for services to be searched.

"There is opportunity to look at this set of issues and look at a concerted industry standard to foster the integration required and that focuses on SOAs," Murthy is quoted as saying. The IBM reps quoted in the article could not predict what a new registry standard would or should look like, but said vendors should take their time in sorting things out.