What standards are being developed to support Web services?
There are lots and lots of standards under development. "Web services" is a generic term that refers to any type of service that communicates using an XML protocol. There are lots of XML protocols out there, but for the moment, let's assume that we're talking about SOAP. SOAP 1.1 and its related specifications (WSDL 1.1, SOAP with Attachments, WS-Attachments, WS-Security, WS-Routing, WS-Reliability, etc.) are not formal standards, although quite a large community treats them as if they were. People are building real applications based on these specifications today.
Meanwhile, the standards community is developing a number of formal standards based on the SOAP framework:
- W3C Web Services Architecture Working Group is developing a reference architecture for Web services. This specification is now a working draft. It is not yet complete, but it provides a framework for much of the other standardization work.
- W3C XML Protocol Working Group is developing SOAP 1.2. This specification is now a candidate recommendation, which is two steps shy of being a formal W3C recommendation.
- W3C Web Services Description Working Group is developing WSDL 1.2. This specification is now a working draft. There's still lots of discussion going on about the basics of this specification.
- W3C Web Services Choreography Working Group is developing a specification for composing and describing relationships among lower-level services. The group has not yet produced a working draft, although it may use WSCI as input.
- OASIS Web Services Security Technical Committee is developing WSS, which defines a SOAP extension to support secure SOAP messages (authentication, encryption, and signatures). This specification is now a working draft.
- OASIS Web Services Reliable Messaging Technical Committee is developing WS-RM, which is a SOAP extension to support reliable messaging. The group has not yet produced a working draft, although it is using WS-Reliability as input.
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