Dev Bytes

W3C to open SOAP envelope

Faced with demand to develop more sophisticated Web services, a new working group – formed within the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) – is set to tackle key standards challenges, including reliable messaging and extended SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) functionality. Featuring 67 members from companies such as Microsoft Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc., and ChevronTexaco Corp., the Web Services Architecture Working Group is expected to publish in April a working draft containing requirements of an architecture for deploying Web services.

The move reflects growing demand for standards capable of supporting transaction-based applications and comes amid political jockeying among the key vendors driving the standards debate, including IBM, Sun and Microsoft. Topping the group’s agenda is the development of standards for composing Web services, creating reliable messaging for business-level transactions, improving security, and extending the capabilities of SOAP.

Microsoft opens .Net code to academics

Microsoft Corp. will allow academic researchers to view the nuts and bolts of some of the .Net source code the company will use in its wide-ranging initiative to supply applications and services over the Internet, Microsoft announced recently.

More than 1 million lines of source code for .Net will be made available under Microsoft’s previously announced “Shared Source” licensing program to academic researchers in university computer-science departments. Shared source is Microsoft’s response to the open-source software movement and the growing popularity of the Linux operating system. Open-source software such as Linux typically is developed by programmers collaborating and freely sharing code updates. Under Microsoft’s shared source licence, developers have been able to view source code, but not modify it as they can with Linux. The shared-source implementation for .Net and Microsoft’s Common Language Infrastructure for academics will run on the Windows XP operating system and the open-source FreeBSD derivative of the Unix operating system.

IBM extends WebSphere to mobile devices

Further extending the availability of its business applications beyond the desktop, IBM Corp. announced WebSphere Everyplace Access.

The software allows companies to add handheld computers, mobile phones and other mobile devices to the list of clients that can access applications, all under a single IT architecture, IBM said in a statement. WebSphere Everyplace Access includes a client component and supports features such as synchronization, IBM said. The announcement marks IBM’s latest pervasive computing move. In mid-2001 the company announced software designed to automate some of the tasks necessary to unlock applications for use on mobile devices, called WebSphere Everyplace Server Enable.