IBM, HP, and SAP boost UDDI library
- By John K. Waters
IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and SAP have thrown their considerable weight behind UDDI4J, the open-source Java class library that supplies an API for interacting with Universal Description Discovery and Integration (UDDI) registries, which is one of the key enabling technologies for Web services.
Based on XML, UDDI is a Web-based distributed directory that enables businesses to list themselves on the Internet and "discover" each other. Analogous to a traditional phone book's yellow and white pages, UDDI lets users store information about which Web services are available and from whom. The UDDI4J project defines a Java API that provides access to any UDDI registry from within a Java application.
UDDI4J lets users publish and find information in a UDDI registry by wrapping the XML artifacts used by UDDI. It also handles the network access to a registry via the SOAP protocol. It provides Java developers with a common API for programmatically registering services, and for querying and accessing information in UDDI-based registries. Agreement on UDDI4J is expected to reduce hurdles associated with creating Web services tools.
IBM originally made UDDI4J available as open source in January 2001. HP played an active role with IBM in UDDI4J by enhancing the original UDDI4J API to meet the new UDDI V2 specifications. SAP has contributed its experience and resources in deploying business-driven APIs to ensure rapid adoption of UDDI4J in the business community.
The three companies made the announcement last month (Dec 2001), hot on the heels of UDDI.org's November 19 announcement that they and Microsoft had launched beta versions of public UDDI Business Registries that allow businesses to search, discover, and integrate Web services. The UDDI Business Registry provides a standards-based protocol for cataloging services at design time and for discovering services at run time.
Bob Sutor, director of e-business standards strategy at IBM, calls UDDI4J an "important resource for Web services developers."
"UDDI4J is an excellent example of how the open source process can be used to create high-quality Java libraries to simplify application development around industry standards," Sutor says. "UDDI4J will help the industry-strategic UDDI registry technology reach its full potential for the publishing and discovery of Web services descriptions both inside and outside enterprises."
Jack Walicki, CTO of HP's middleware division, believes that supporting UDDI4J makes sense for HP, which he described as an advocate of both the UDDI and the open source movement. "Industry agreement on a common Java API for UDDI registries is critical for the success of service-centric computing," Walicki says.
SAP's VP of application integration, Willi Therre, agrees that UDDI and Web services represent essential building blocks for global business development. He also believes that development, publication, and deployment from heterogeneous environments will be crucial to the success of Web services. "SAP is focused to overcome the technical constraints and obstacles that challenge global e-business today," he says, "and is pleased to work with IBM and HP to provide the foundation for open, standard-based, high-quality Web services."
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John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached