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UDDI control shifts to OASIS

The future of one of the key building blocks of Web services applications has been placed in the hands of an international standards body. Last week, it was disclosed that control of the Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) specification, formerly the focus of the industry group, UDDI.org, has shifted to the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS).

OASIS will ''serve as the steward for the UDDI project and activities and will continue development of the UDDI technical work'' in a new technical committee, according to UDDI.org documents. OASIS will manage the further development of the UDDI specification and all related activities, the group said, adding that existing business registries will continue to be made available by registry operators.

OASIS, a not-for-profit organization formed to promote public information standards like XML, SGML and CGM, oversees the development of worldwide standards for security, Web services, XML conformance, business transactions, electronic publishing, topic maps, and interoperability within and between marketplaces. OASIS lists more than 400 corporate and individual members in 100 countries.

A registry and services discovery specification, UDDI has emerged as a key piece of the Web services software stack, along with SOAP and WSDL. Led by Ariba, IBM, Microsoft and others, the UDDI project is designed to enable software to automatically discover and integrate with services on the Web. UDDI ''catalog'' contains white pages (addresses and contacts), yellow pages (industry classification) and green pages (description of services). The green pages include the XML version, type of encryption and a Document Type Definition (DTD) of the standard. UDDI messages ride on top of the SOAP protocol, which invokes services on the Web.

Chris Kurt, general program manager of UDDI.org, said the UDDI spec will continue to advance as a standard under OASIS, and interested companies can continue to incorporate the specification into future business and software plans. UDDI also will benefit from additional expertise in shaping, developing and coordinating the fundamentals for open standards based business interoperability, he said.

At the same time, UDDI.org unveiled a Version 3 specification, which Kurt said will be the basis for future development under OASIS.

'Version 3 provides the opportunity to make and mold UDDI registries for different purposes in different contexts, while maintaining a standard interoperable foundation,' Kurt said. 'Additional features and enhancements, such as those in the areas of security and internationalization, are now included per requirements of implementers and end users, including the entire UDDI community.'

UDDI V3 enhancements include increased security features, improved Web Services Description Language (WSDL) support, multi-registry topologies and new subscription API and core information model advances.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at john@watersworks.com.

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