Basic Profile 1.0: the key to interoperability?

In an effort to ensure that software providers and developers create interoperable Web services, the Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I) announced last month the availability of Basic Profile 1.0.

The Profile consists of implementation guidelines on how core specifications should be used together; specifications such as SOAP 1.1, WSDL 1.1, UDDI 2.0, XML 1.0 and XML Schema.

Along with these specifications, the Basic Profile also features a set of conventions, best practices and guidelines about how to use the specifications together for specific applications, said Rob Cheng, WS-I spokesperson and Oracle Inc.’s principle product marketing manager for Web services and emerging standards.

In total, the profile outlines more than 200 technical guidelines on how a developer should implement a Web service.

One example Cheng provided is error handling. “Some of the specifications don’t go into great detail about how to deal with errors, but they assume that it’s part of the customization that you are going to do when you apply this for your particular problem,” he said.

The Basic Profile also deals with such issues as infrastructure, code, security and messaging, he explained.

“The first victory is that we actually managed to come to an agreement,” said Tom Glover, chairman of WS-I, referring to the unanimous approval of the 11-member WS-I board of directors and by the approximately 170-member organizations.

Formed in February 2002, the WS-I takes standards from organizations and develops interoperability and usage profiles.

In the fall, the WS-I plans to release test tools and sample applications that support the basic profile.

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