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Group tackles Web services management

OASIS, a standards group that includes IBM and Novell, is fine-tuning the management of Web services applications.

Hoping to accelerate the use of Web services, a standards group on Monday said it will create a technical committee to tackle the problem of managing Web services applications.

The Web Services Distributed Management Technical Committee at the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards, or OASIS, will define methods to monitor the performance and security of Web services, the organization said. Web services is an umbrella term for a set of standards and techniques to build applications that can easily communicate.

Businesses are adopting Web services as a way to build internal applications and exchange data with partners, according to analysts.

But management systems to ensure adequate performance of Web services are lagging. Software makers need to provide standardized management tools if Web services is to become more widespread, according to members of the OASIS technical committee.

The committee will work with ongoing technical developments at other standards bodies, including the World Wide Web Consortium and the Distributed Management Task Force. Networking company Novell and IBM are co-chairs of the Web Services Distributed Management Technical Committee at OASIS.

"Just as security is a prime concern for our customers looking to deploy Web services, so too is the need to effectively manage those distributed Web services across their organizations," Winston Bumpus, director of standards for Novell, said in a statement.

Work on Web services standards has been steady over the past several months. Initial Web services standards, such as XML (Extensible Markup Language), Simple Object Access Protocol, and Web services Description Language, which were defined roughly four years ago, specified simple methods for building Web services.

The latest standardization efforts have focused on capabilities needed for more widespread Web services usage. OASIS said it has formed committees to shepherd the completion of standards around security, reliable messaging and structured business documents.

Besides Novell and IBM, initial members of the OASIS Web Services Distributed Management Technical Committee include Actional, BMC Software, Computer Associates, Confluent Software, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, OpenNetwork, SeeBeyond, Sun Microsystems, Waveset and WebMethods.