Industry Leaders Align Around Web Services Interoperability
Accenture, BEA Systems, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP Form Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I) to Speed Development and Deployment of Web Services; Provide Support and Road Map for Developers and Customers
ARMONK, N.Y., and REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 6, 2002 – A broad group of technology leaders today announced the formation of the Web Services Interoperability (WS-I) Organization (www.ws-i.org). This cross-industry initiative is designed to accelerate the development and deployment of interoperable Web services across a variety of platforms, applications and programming languages. Web services are a platform- and language-independent means of building distributed systems that can connect and interact with one another easily and efficiently across the Internet, based on industry standards. WS-I, whose founders include and, Accenture, BEA Systems Inc., Fujitsu Ltd., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp., Intel Corp., Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp. and SAP AG, is open to all organizations committed to promoting interoperability among Web services based on industry-accepted definitions and open standards support.
The mission of WS-I will be to provide implementation guidance to support customers deploying Web services, promote consistent and reliable interoperability among Web services, and articulate a common industry vision for Web services.
“Ensuring that Web services implementations interoperate across heterogeneous platforms is crucial to furthering the evolution of Web services and driving customer adoption,” said Daryl Plummer, group vice president and research group director at Gartner Inc. “WS-I is an expected and necessary industry initiative that will address the key issue of interoperability, which is instrumental in moving Web services to the next level of acceptance and adoption.”
The following companies are signing on in support of WS-I: Akamai Technologies Inc., Autodesk Inc., Borland, Business Objects, Cape Clear Software Inc., Commerce One, CommerceQuest, Compaq Computer Corp., Corechange Inc., Corillian Corp., Daimler/Chrysler AG, Dassault Systemes, J.D. Edwards, Epicentric, Epicor Software Corp., ESRI, FileNET, Flamenco Networks, Ford Motor Co., FrontRange Solutions Inc., Grand Central Networks Inc., Groove Networks Inc., IONA, Jamcracker Inc., Kana Inc., Loudcloud Inc., Macromedia Inc., McAfee.com, Onyx Software Corp., Peregrine Systems, Pivotal Corp., Plumtree Software Inc., POSC.org, Qwest Communications Inc., Rational Software Corp., RealNames Corp., Reed Elsevier, Reuters, Sabre Holdings Corp., SAS Institute, Sybase Inc., Toshiba TEC Corp., United Airlines, Versata Inc., VeriSign, and webMethods Inc.
Customers implementing Web services want their investment to comply with the existing standards-based model that enables interoperability and fast time to market. WS-I will provide the clarity, guidance and direction around Web services that customers have been requesting as they move into the Web services model of computing.
“Web services will become important tools for our clients. They will allow for new types of business applications — new ways for them to work with their customers and partners. They also hold the promise of easing integration with legacy applications. But the key to success lies in the hard work of building workable standards and architectures. As such, we see efforts such as WS-I as critical to the successful adoption of Web services,” said James Hall, managing partner Technology Business Solutions Unit at Accenture.
Implementation Tools and Guidance
To assist in ensuring the interoperability of Web services, WS-I will initially create a suite of tools and materials for testing implementation and conformance with “basic level” Web services standards: XML, SOAP, WSDL and UDDI. These testing capabilities are important so customers can ensure that their implementations comply with the best-practices use of these Web services specifications. Tests will be self administered and aimed at uncovering unconventional usage or errors in specification implementations, thus improving interoperability between applications and across platforms.
Road Map for Web Services
As Web services mature and gain mainstream momentum, the need will arise for additional capabilities that are not fully addressed in the current Web services standards. To meet these needs, WS-I will publish an architectural road map for identifying functional areas and capabilities that need to be addressed in future Web services specifications. As new specifications are created and adopted by multiple standards organizations to enhance current Web service capabilities, WS-I will provide a forum to ensure testing materials support the evolving set of requirements and their interdependencies.
In recent technology leaders and industry standards bodies have worked together to develop a set of specifications for a distributed application architecture commonly referred to as Web services. Web services standards including SOAP, XML, WSDL and UDDI have successfully enabled developers to provide interoperability across multiple platforms, programming languages and applications. WS-I is a global organization of industry participants with a wealth of Web services implementation experience that is committed to customer education, awareness and adoption.
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