IBM, Microsoft and BEA get together on Web services specs
Perhaps Web services can transcend corporate rivalries. Perhaps not. This
past week, IBM, Microsoft and BEA jointly announced three proposed
specifications for defining, creating and connecting multiple business processes
in a Web services environment.
As with some recent similar announcements, Sun Microsystems is notable as a
The proposed specs go beyond the current SOAP, UDDI and WSDL standards for
setting up a basic Web service. The new specifications -- WS-Coordination,
WS-Transaction and Business Process Execution Language for Web Services
(BPEL4WS) -- are designed to manage complex applications interacting with a
variety of internal and external Web services.
WS-Coordination offers developers a way to manage and sequence the operations
of multiple Web services in an application.
WS-Transaction is designed to monitor the success or failure of operations
across distributed organizations in a Web services environment.
BPEL4WS is an XML-based language that defines business process interactions
within and between businesses. 'It allows companies to describe complex business
processes that can span multiple companies, such as order processing, lead
management and claims handling,' read the announcement from IBM, Microsoft and
BEA. 'These business processes can use partner-provided Web services, and can
also be offered as Web services business process functions internally or to
partners in a reliable and dependable way.'
BPEL4WS is a synthesis of IBM's WSFL and Microsoft's XLANG projects, now
replaced by the newly announced spec, which the companies say combines and
extends their previous attempts at a Web services flow language.
The three new specifications are being offered to IT professionals,
developers and software vendors for evaluation and feedback at this time,
according to a spokesperson for the three companies. The spokesperson added that
it was premature for the proposed specs to go to a standards body, although that
may be done at a later, as-yet-unspecified date.
Published specifications are available at the following sites:
For more on specifications, please go to http://www.adtmag.com/article.asp?id=6004
Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.