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Should we incorporate Global Web Services Architecture standards into our Web services?

What are your thoughts on the Global Web Services Architecture (WS-Security, WS-License, etc.)? Is it worth it to incorporate these into existing Web services, or would you recommend waiting until the standards are more refined?

I think you mean the Global XML Architecture, or GXA. GXA is a concerted effort by Microsoft to address more complex and sophisticated tasks--such as security, routing, reliable messaging and transactions--on the .Net platform. It's Microsoft's initiative to ensure the success and acceptance of Web services. Microsoft's stated goal is for GXA to incorporate open standards and, in order to do that, many of the elements of GXA are being proposed as industry standards. For GXA to achieve its goals, vendors and customers must keep close tabs on--and occasionally participate in--the definition of major Web service specifications that are in various stages of adoption. That means checking in on works-in-progress and specifications that have been submitted to the various standards bodies. Once they are confirmed or become de-facto standards, these specifications should be adopted to ensure the interoperability of Web service-based applications.

Some of the early-stage GXA specifications are presently in a state of flux, whereas others are better defined. If you're thinking about retrofitting existing services I would recommend sticking to the components of GXA that have garnered some industry support, such as WS-Security. Although these components are still likely to change, you are at least tracking to an established specification. If you are building new services you might want to be more adventurous and adopt more recent additions to GXA. Since you have to do something, you might as well do something in line with some standardization effort rather than do something completely proprietary that you'll certainly have to retrofit at a later time.


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