WS-Addressing specification submitted to W3C

BEA Systems Inc., IBM Corp., Microsoft Corp., SAP AG and Sun Microsystems Inc. have submitted the WS-Addressing Web services specification to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for consideration as a standard, the companies said Tuesday.

WS-Addressing, or Web Services Addressing, is a key specification for software services on the Internet. It defines endpoint references and message information headers to allow systems to support the transmission of Web-service messages. WS-Addressing is designed to underlie other specifications such as WS-ReliableMessaging and WS-Federation.

“This is a critical infrastructure piece, it is at the foundation of Web services,” said Dave Mendlen, director of Web services technical marketing at Microsoft. “The other Web services build on top of this core Web services specification.”

Along with other Web services specifications that Microsoft, IBM and other vendors are working on, WS-Addressing is meant to help deliver on the promise of Web services by facilitating the exchange of data between disparate types of software applications.

Sun and SAP are new in the list of WS-Addressing backers. Sun, along with Oracle Corp., Nokia Corp. and several other companies in April submitted a competing specification called WS-MessageDelivery to handle Web services addressing. After the peace agreement with Microsoft earlier this year, Sun now endorses WS-Addressing.

“At the end of the day our customers want one specification. It would be logical to back the one with the most market momentum,” said Ed Julson, director of Web services marketing for Sun. “This is a fairly direct outcome of some of the discussions Sun and Microsoft have had to find ways to interoperate.”

Sun plans to support WS-Addressing in products that are part of its Java Enterprise System, Julson said. During the W3C process, Sun and the other WS-MessageDelivery creators will offer comments on the WS-Addressing specification to come to a single addressing standard, he said.

SAP, for its part, intends to support WS-Addressing in a future version of its NetWeaver product, said Marc Goodner, a technology architect at SAP. “We see this specification as being important to help reduce complexity for our customers,” he said.

Microsoft, IBM and BEA will also support WS-Addressing in their products, company representatives said.

“The whole goal is to ensure interoperability for our customers so that they can integrate key business processes that might be on different platforms,” said Karla Norsworthy, director of Dynamic eBusiness Technologies at IBM.

The WS-Addressing creators call the submission of the specification to the W3C a milestone for their collaboration. Also, the companies say it is part of their efforts to provide a foundation for Web services based on standards. The WS-Addressing authors will not charge royalties in conjunction with the specification, they said.

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