ACM’s analysis of the article, Computer Magazine – Are Web Services Finally Ready to Deliver?, follows.

ACM News Service

“Are Web Services Finally Ready to Deliver?”
Computer (11/04) Vol. 37, No. 11, P. 14; Leavitt, Neal

Standards organizations and industry consortia are working on Web services specifications, but without the presence of an all-encompassing authority, developers are unsure of what standards they will support in the long term, according to Evans Data analyst Joe McKendrick. Groups include the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), whose early Web services specs often concentrated on low-level, core functionality; the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), whose focus has been on security, authentication, registries, business process execution, and reliable messaging; the Liberty Alliance, whose mission is to develop an open standard for federated network identity that complies with all existing and emergent network devices; and the Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I), which releases guidelines and tools to help developers create software enabled for existing Web services specs (the WS-I Basic Security Profile and WS-Federation, for example), and has been working to address interoperability problems by encouraging collaboration among Web services vendors. OASIS is examining BEA, SAP, and IBM’s Business Process Execution Language for Web services spec as a possible business process automation standard, while a subgroup of the W3C is developing Web Services Choreography Description Language 1.0 as a standard set of rules governing the interaction of different components and their sequential arrangement. Of the two rival reliable messaging specs, WS Reliable Messaging and WS-Reliability, only the latter has been sent to a standards body, and Hitachi’s Eisaku Nishiyama reports that proponents of both specs are attempting to arrive at a compromise. A survey from Evans Data indicates that developers are split nearly 50-50 on whether multiple competing standards could hinder Web services deployment, though W3C’s Philipe Le Hegaret doubts this will stifle the adoption of Web services.