UDDI set to emerge from the shadows of obscurity

UDDI is finally starting to see its day in the sun -- what was the holdup?

Okay, UDDI, you can come out now. 

In a newly published interview, Burton Group's Anne Thomas Manes says the time may finally be ripe for the hapless UDDI spec (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration) to emerge from the shadows of obscurity.

Manes also had some disparaging words about a competing spec, ebXML (Electronic Business using eXtensible Markup Language): "Nobody's using it," she said.

With all the talk of governance and registries swirling around these days -- not to mention the money being invested in this space -- it's no surprise that UDDI is finally starting to see its day in the sun. What took it so long?

Manes observes that since many SOA projects are moving out of the development stage into production, there's more of a need for UDDI. "You don't need UDDI to get started with Web services," she said. "You don't need UDDI to enable integration among applications. But if you want to do SOA, you have to start managing the environment and UDDI becomes the system that enables communication among multiple environments."

"UDDI is the foundation for governance," Manes also said. "As people start deploying more and more services and their systems get further andfurther out of control, they realize that they need to do something. And they start by bringing in a registry."

Indeed, as found in a survey WebServices.Org conducted among 1,000 companies, about 17% of companies in the early stages of SOA were working with UDDI, a figure that jumps to 44% of companies with "advanced" SOA deployments (at least 20 services shared between two or more business units).

If this trend holds, then we'll be seeing at least half of companies looking at or deploying UDDI-enabled registries as they move into serious SOA. SOA may be rendered virtually useless with a strong, federated registry structure to help discover and exchange information about available services.

By the way, the survey also saw the percentage of companies using ebXML range from 1% of beginners to 18% of advanced SOA deployers. So ebXML does have some traction, though it lags well behind its more well-known rival.

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