Advanced Web Services To Find Home In Microsoft's Indigo

Longhorn's communications layer to include security, messaging standards

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Microsoft's efforts to develop advanced Web services standards will find a home in Indigo, the service-oriented framework layer of the next release of Windows, company executives said Tuesday.

Microsoft promises Indigo, the next evolution of .Net, will provide a Web services-based communications layer that will allow applications to speak to one another no matter what underlying infrastructure they were developed on, said John Shewchuck, one of the leading architects for Indigo at Microsoft.

The message is a familiar one: All of the major software vendors and their startup rivals have been working to build software to provide a standard communications layer to support service-oriented architectures.

Integral to Indigo, which will appear in the next version of Windows, code-named Longhorn, is a host of Web services standards for security, reliable messaging and transactions that Microsoft has been developing in conjunction with IBM, BEA Systems, SAP and several other vendors.

Indigo will support WS-Security, WS-ReliableMessaging and WS-Transaction, which include a host of specifications to provide security, reliability and transactional support for Web services. Microsoft and IBM have been the chief proponents behind the standardization of these specifications, currently in review by standards bodies.

Through Indigo, this advanced Web services support will be baked directly into the Windows operating system, Shewchuck said.

This differs from the strategies of the J2EE-based software vendors such as IBM and BEA. Those vendors are providing this support in the middleware layer, which contains the application server and integration software that runs on top of the OS, he said.

Indigo provides a shortcut for developers building service-oriented architectures by attaching security, transport and reliability attributes to services developed using Longhorn.

Lest developers don't trust Longhorn to provide such characteristics, Shewchuck said they can bypass the automatic functions and write as much code as they want themselves or tie messages into third-party software to provide those features.

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