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Can Infravio technology revive UDDI?

The Web Services Delivery Contract (WSDC) developed by Infravio Inc. (www.Infravio.com) is designed to be a technological fix for the limitations its developers see in UDDI, said officials of the Cupertino, Calif.-based firm.

UDDI, the little-used standard that was originally supposed to be part of a Web service triumvirate with WSDL and SOAP, is limited in what it tells the Web services provider, Infravio President and CEO Jeff Tonkel told XML Report. "In UDDI there's no concept of consumers registering, or contracts or approval processes for consumers and providers to be part of an integration," he said.

That is why the provider of Web services management software and consulting services developed WSDC, which is said to essentially provide for agreements between Web services providers and consumers.

Tonkel said his company saw the need for it as they began to work on SOA integration projects. "It came from a realization that consumers are not just going to be anonymous and come in and use any providing service like Web services were originally envisioned," he said. "It doesn't work that way when people are doing SOAs or service-oriented integration with an enterprise."

The problem with UDDI is that it is "very much a one-way channel of information," explained Patrick Vallaeys, Infravio's marketing vice president. "It tells the consumer everything he needs to know about the provider: how to use the Web service, what it does, etc. But the provider has no clue as to who is using his service or what kind of load they generate. The provider doesn't even know who to inform on the consumer side if he has to stop his service for a couple hours."

The WSDC solves this by making "the flow of information two-way between the consumer and the provider," noted Vallaeys.

The WSDC establishes agreements on issues such as use of security and transformation mechanisms between what the firm's Tonkel calls "the consumer/provider pair. We have a meta data repository that is populated by our Configurator as you specify which security provider and security mechanism you believe you want to use based upon the consumer/provider pair," he explained. "In our system, you will have already identified the consumer, you will already have identified your providers and you will begin to identify what we call a contract. Based upon that consumer/provider pair, you're going to establish a whole set of configuration data that we call terms, which is going to be unique to that consumer/provider pair."

The WSDC is a key component of Infravio Ensemble 4.0, which the company describes as "the industry's first and only enterprise-grade, platform-agnostic and openly architected Web Services Management Suite." It is currently in beta and is schedule for release in November, Tonkel said.

About the Author

Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.

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