WS-Policy (Web Services Policy Framework specifications)

WS-Policy is an abbreviation for the Web Services Policy Framework specifications, members of the core Web Services architecture specifications. Web Services Policy Framework specifications are currently published by IBM, but also include BEA Systems, Microsoft, SAP AG, Sonic Software, and Versign as other named contributors.

WS-Policy defines a general-purpose XML-based model and syntax that may be used to describe and communicate the policies that inhere to any Web-based service. In other words, WS-Policy assertions express the capabilities and constraints that apply to some particular Web service to which they pertain.

More specifically, WS-Policy delivers a flexible, extensible grammar for assertions regarding the capabilities, requirements, and general characteristics in a specific XML Web services based system. WS-Policy allows such properties to be stated as policies, which may be simple declarative assertions but may also be more complex conditional declarations. In this context, a policy consists of one or more policy assertions and may include such things as authentication schemes, transport protocol selection, privacy policy, QoS characteristics, and more.

This was last updated in August 2007

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