Web services choreography standard 18-24 months away

Standardization of Web services choreography, which will enable development of complex Web services for business, is 18 months to two years away, said a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) official Wednesday while the W3C met to take up the issue.

The complexity of the concept means it will take time to settle on a standard, said Sinisa Zimek, SAP AG advisory committee representative to W3C and a member of various W3C working groups.

“Choreography is a pretty broad area,” Zimek said “It’s much more complex to standardize choreographies than, for example, SOAP and WSDL.”

Although WSDL and SOAP enable development of simple Web services such as stock quote notifications, more complicated Web services such as invoice processing will require choreography of processes, according to Zimek.

The W3C this week held an event in Cambridge, Mass., known as the W3C Advisory Committee Forum, to hold open discussions on issues such as choreography. Major vendors such as Sun Microsystems Inc. and Microsoft Corp. were represented, Zimek said.

Upon conclusion of the advisory meeting, W3C members will continue until mid-December to provide input on a proposal to form a Web services choreography working group and afterward the director of the W3C, Tim Berners-Lee, will make a decision on whether to form such a panel, Zimek said. Members did concur that generally W3C should be the forum for standardizing Web services, according to Zimek.

The panel is pondering the Sun-driven Web Services Choreography Interface (WSCI) proposal as a basis for Web services choreography and is waiting to hear from IBM and Microsoft on whether they will submit their rival plan, Business Process Extension Language for Web Services (BPEL4WS), to W3C for consideration as well, Zimek said. Zimek is an author of the WSCI specification.

As of last week, both IBM Corp. and Microsoft Corp. were still pondering a decision on submitting BPEL4WS to a standards body. A Microsoft representative on Wednesday said the company still had not made a decision. IBM could not be reached for comment on Wednesday afternoon.