Leading Tech Competitors Form Web Services Group

WS-I committed to interoperability

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In a move aimed at helping to promote Web services adoption, a group of technology competitors, including IBM, Microsoft, BEA Systems, Hewlett-Packard, SAP, Intel and Accenture, have joined forces to form a Web services interoperability group.

The Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I) will speed development and deployment of interoperable Web services across multiple platforms, applications and programming languages, said Bob Sutor, director of e-business standards strategy for IBM.

The mission of WS-I will be to guide the implementation of companies deploying Web services, to promote interoperability among Web services and to develop and define a common industry vision for Web services, said Sutor. The group also will create a road map for solution providers developing services and customers deploying services.

So far, about 50 companies,including Oracle, AutoDesk, Cape Clear, Compaq Computer, J.D. Edwards, Epicor, Fujitsu, Groove Networks, IONA Technologies, Kana, Macromedia, Plumtree and Qwest Communications,have signed up to join WS-I.

Noticeably absent from the list of WS-I companies, however, is Sun Microsystems, a major proponent of Web services. Sutor said Sun was invited to join but has not made a final decision yet, adding that membership remains open to any interested company.

Marge Breya, a Sun vice president, said Sun supports Web services interoperability, and currently is considering its invitation to join WS-I.

Web services garnered much attention in 2001 as Java-based software companies such as IBM and BEA built strategies to combat Microsoft's .Net environment. Despite all this hype, industry deployment was limited, and observers said only early adopters will implement Web services in 2002.

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