Web services standards: 60 and counting

XL Web services standards finally begin to gel.
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer on

Having trouble keeping up with all the standards being launched around Web services?  Join the club. In a new analysis, Jason Stamper provides a much-needed clarification on where we're at in the standards world. He notes that there are now more than 60 Web services standards and specifications at some stage of development or approval.

Those that mean the most to SOA include Web Services Description Language (WSDL), Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI), Business Process Execution Language (BPEL), and last and certainly not least, XML. Emerging specifications that also make a difference include WS-Security and WS-Policy, which is not yet a formal, recognized standard.

The good news is that vendor cooperation to support and move Web services standards forward seems to be holding. "We're much more focused on getting industry-wide agreement than we used to be," Miko Matsumura, chairman of the Oasis Technical Adoption Committee, is quoted as saying. "The groups do work with each other instead of against each other."

"We were in danger a year ago of some sort of standards meltdown, where people could not agree on some of the higher-level semantics," Jim Rivera, VP of product management for Cape Clear, said in the article. "But I think we have got past that, and the standards are now being well supported and well adopted. There is always more work to do, but we have come a long way."

Stamper advises that while key Web services standards are ready for enterprise application development there are still issues in the areas of security, policy and management. "Users are advised to draw on the technologies offered by development and deployment tools to shore up what is available from the standards and specifications."

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