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OASIS picks up BPEL4WS

Business Process Execution Language for Web Services, or BPEL4WS, will ease into the OASIS tent in May, the Boston-based standard consortium disclosed yesterday.

The vendors behind the BPEL4WS XML standard -- BEA, IBM, Microsoft and SAP -- agreed to formally submit BPEL4WS Version 1.1 under royalty-free terms to a new OASIS technical committee on May 16, OASIS officials said. That is the date of the first meeting of the newly formed OASIS Web Services Business Process Execution Language (WSBPEL) Technical Committee, which will now work further on the standard and perhaps come up with a less-cumbersome acronym.

BPEL4WS is an XML specification for describing business processes as Web services and defining the connections between them.

The specification is required to solve "real-life business problems," said Diane Jordan at IBM, co-chair of the new OASIS WSBPEL Technical Committee, because in e-business applications "companies may need to invoke multiple Web services applications inside their firewalls and across networks to communicate with their customers, partners and suppliers."

She explained that BPEL4WS provides a standard for sequencing and coordinating Web services inside and outside the enterprise so that services are called in a logical succession to accomplish a task.

Ted Schadler, analyst at Forrester Research Inc., Cambridge, Mass., described the royalty-free licensing for BPEL4WS as "good news for firms focused on Web services" because it should help the standard gain widespread ISV support, thus furthering its adoption.

Additional information on the OASIS WSBPEL Technical Committee can be found at www.oasis-open.org/committees/tc_home.php?wg_abbrev=wsbpel

About the Author

Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.

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