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Web services messaging spec submitted to W3C

Microsoft and Sun are among a group of computing giants that have submitted the WS-Addressing specification to the World Wide Web Consortium. Could this spec smooth the rift between Microsoft and Sun?

Have Sun Microsystems Inc. and Microsoft Corp. buried the hatchet over Web services specifications?

It may be too early to tell, but all indicators are pointing in that direction. The two computing giants, along with IBM Corp., BEA Systems and SAP AG put their names to the WS-Addressing specification, which was submitted Monday to the World Wide Web Consortium.

It's a nuts-and-bolts spec. By itself, it doesn't enable an application to be built, but it allows other things to be built on top of it.
 Ron Schmelzer
AnalystZapThink LLC

The messaging specification, which covers many of the same areas as the WS-Messaging Delivery spec, outlines a standard way for referencing and addressing network end points receiving Web services messages.

A Sun-Microsoft truce -- the two have sparred in the past over the Liberty Alliance's federated identity specifications -- would be a step forward for the development community and for the advancement of Web services, said ZapThink LLC analyst Ronald Schmelzer.

"It's great to see them submit the same specification, to the same standards body and agree upon everything. It's impressive," Schmelzer said. "We'll see how long it lasts. It's good news."

WS-Addressing is designed to work as a foundation for other specifications like WS-ReliableMessaging, WS-Federation and WS-AtomicTransaction, Microsoft said in a statement.

"It's a nuts-and-bolts spec. By itself, it doesn't enable an application to be built, but it allows other things to be built on top of it," Schmelzer said. "It will help developers name endpoints and indicate how a Web service can reach them."

Schmelzer added that the ultimate approval of WS-Addressing when combined with the things specified in WSDL and UDDI enables developers to build robust services and reliably deliver messages.

WS-MessageDelivery, which may continue to co-exist with WS-Addressing, concentrates on standardizing the way Web services end points are referenced when more than one service is using the same exchange pattern. It underlies the WSDL.

WS-Addressing also cast more attention on the rivalry between standards bodies W3C and OASIS. Schmelzer said W3C's ratification process is longer than OASIS and it's more difficult to get a spec approved, but the rigorous process has its benefits.

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