Microsoft Corp., BEA Systems Inc. and Tibco Software Inc. on Wednesday published a specification, WS-Eventing, which is intended to provide a common way of communicating events within and between Web services.

The companies plan to submit the specification for consideration by an industry standards body such as W3C or OASIS, according to a Microsoft representative. WS-Eventing is intended to provide a common way to communicate events, which are being defined as real-world occurrences that trigger actions in software, such as an order being placed or a package being shipped. Without a common communications method, developers have been forced to develop ad hoc solutions that are incomplete and inflexible, according to Microsoft.

With WS-Eventing, Web services can send and receive information about events that have occurred, regardless of whether the event is originating in the firmware of a device or in large-scale enterprise systems, according to Microsoft.

WS-Eventing co-authors are proposing a set of fundamental protocols, message formats, and interfaces for a Web service to subscribe to events that come from another Web service, Microsoft said.

The specification can be applied to scenarios in the enterprise, home, or in devices and can form the basis of more complex vertical solutions in the future, Microsoft said. It also utilizes capabilities of published specifications such as WS-Addressing, WS-Security, and WS-ReliableMessaging. WS-Eventing supports SOAP 1.1 and SOAP 1.2 Envelopes.

Industry analysts endorsed the specification.

“Event-driven processes are a core subset of the processes and other interactions that a SOA (service-oriented architecture) supports. In contrast, the Web is request-driven and synchronous, where nothing happens until a human clicks a button, but in the general case, the cause of a process might be any event that takes place anywhere in the broader IT infrastructure. WS-Eventing helps to abstract such events so that there is a standard, loosely coupled, typically asynchronous way of describing, producing, subscribing to, and receiving such events,” said Jason Bloomberg, a senior analyst at ZapThink, in an e-mail response.