Vendors Submit Key Web Services Spec To W3C

WS-Addressing defines a standard way for identifying and exchanging Web services messages between multiple end points. The specification was originally created by IBM, MIcrosoft, and BEA to help enterprises build interoperable Web services applications that work across disparate hardware platforms and operating environments.

About the expanded group that joined together to submit the specification to the W3C, Microsoft's director of Web services technical marketing, Dave Mendlen said, "This is a natural progression in our Web services efforts, and represents a different kind of industry collaboration that is taking place right now."

On the reason that Sun joined the original co-authors in submitting the specification to the W3C for input into the standardization process, Sun's director of Web services marketing, Ed Julson, said that the WS-Addressing specification showed more "maturity" when compared with competing specifications offering similar functionality. "As we looked at the current work being done on WS-MessageDelivery, we felt there was quite a bit of maturity in the WS-Addressing specification, specifically, in the early implementations of the specification that demonstrated its viability." Another reason for putting support behind WS-Addressing was Microsoft, Julson added. "Sun and Microsoft are dedicated to improving interoperability between products, and interoperability depends on the establishment of standards."

"Fundamentally, SAP is committed to trying to reduce complexity for its customers," said Marc Goodner, a technology architect with SAP on why SAP joined the effort. "And we see this specification as standardizing a method for addressing Web services end points that will enable customers to better integrate their external and internal partner systems.

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"To us, interoperability is what it's all about," said Karla Norsworthy, director of dynamic e-business technologies at IBM. "Interoperability is one of the key value propositions about Web services that our customers are looking for, so we think it's essential that we get the industry to agree upon a single set of specifications."

As a sign of its maturity, BEA Systems' technical director David Orchard pointed out that WS-Addressing is a key Web services standard that is used in other emerging specifications, such as WS-ReliableMessaging, WS-Federation, and WS-AtomicTransaction. Plus, WS-Addressing has effectively been used in half a dozen interoperability workshops, and we believe is at a mature level that is sufficient for standardization at the W3C."

In conformance with W3C rules, the co-authors will not charge royalties for use of WS-Addressing. BEA's Orchard is "hopeful" that the specification will be approved as a W3C standard sometime in 2005.