IBM, Microsoft demo links Web services apps

[XML Web Services One Daily, August 28, 2002] -- At the XML Web Services One conference in Boston, IBM and Microsoft yesterday demonstrated Web services-based interoperability between IBM’s WebSphere and Microsoft’s .NET using a stock trading application as a prototype example. Both companies also this week made available updates to their respective Web services developer kits.

The Boston demo is important because it addresses one of the troublesome integration issues of the day. Much of the interest in Web services recently evident among application development managers stems from a desire to effectively bridge .NET and Java applications.

The demonstration shows the fruits of recent standards efforts to describe Web services security mechanisms, said Robert Suttor, director, e-Business Standards Strategy at IBM. It shows digital certificates being used in an interoperable way that is new to Web services, added Suttor.

A recent series of Web services-related standards proposals sponsored by IBM, Microsoft and others have clearly raised the hackles of Sun Microsystems, the originator of Java. Sun reps have complained that the company was not invited early-on to participate in several of these efforts. But Sun was among those that endorsed a recent Web services security proposal backed by IBM, Microsoft and others, said IBM’s Suttor. [In a related move, IBM announced at the XML Web Services conference that it has put its long-germinating UDDI Web services directory effort in the hands of the Oasis standards group.]

There are various values to IBM’s recent relationships with Microsoft, admits Suttor. “If you look at customers of a reasonable size, there will be software from a number of companies onsite. .NET is going to be around -- so is Java,” he noted.

“If we can connect the .NET platform with the Java platform, that is showing something,” added Suttor.

IBM has made a new version of its Web Services Toolkit -- showcasing DIME-attachment support, updated Web services security and a SOAP service monitor -- available on its alphaWorks Web site. At the same time, Microsoft has made available a technical preview of the Microsoft Web Service Development Kit with new features.

“The toolkit plugs into the .NET framework,” said Microsoft’s Don Box, technical evangelist. “It adds support for Web Services Security, routing and DIME attachments.”

The DIME attachment supports will help developers to deal with the issue Web services-oriented XML systems may have while trying to efficiently parse binary large object documents, said SOAP co-author Box.


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