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Net body tackles Web services messaging

The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards is devising a model for ensuring the reliability of Web services communications.

Web standards group OASIS is working to devise a model that could bolster the reliability of Web services messages.

The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards, or OASIS, Wednesday said that it has created a committee that will formulate a model for reliable messaging in Web services applications.

OASIS will base its work on an existing specification called Web Services Reliability (WS-R), that was developed and published by Fujitsu, Hitachi, Oracle, NEC, Sonic Software and Sun Microsystems.

Using Web services standards and programming methods, companies can build applications that can be easily modified, and can exchange data more easily. Reliable Web services messaging remains one of the key areas of Web services standards development, according to analysts.

Reliability--or how likely a message is to reach its intended destination--is a key requirement for widespread adoption of Web services for important business processes.

Once a standard is finalized and adopted by software providers, businesses will have an agreed-upon way to build guaranteed data delivery into their applications, according to members of the Web Services Reliable Messaging technical committee. Right now companies can use existing reliable messaging software with Web services, but need to do custom coding to share data with different messaging systems.

"Interoperability, ease-of-implementation, and ease-of-use are our fundamental goals," said Tom Rutt of Fujitsu, chair of the technical committee. Rutt added that the committee will try to coordinate with other reliable messaging standards efforts and interoperate with existing standards.

OASIS' planned model will allow companies to choose a number of message delivery options. For example, a company can request acknowledgement of a message's arrival or automatically resend an undelivered message. The messaging capabilities will be defined within the existing Web Services Definition Language (WSDL) standard, and the message formats will be specified within the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) standard.

Participants in the technical committee have agreed to provide a free license for any contributions to the standard. Members of the OASIS Web Services Reliable Messaging Technical Committee include Commerce One, Cyclone Commerce, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Iona Technologies, NEC, Oracle, SAP, See Beyond, Sonic Software, Sun and WRQ.

IBM and Microsoft, which have been involved in previous high-profile Web services standards efforts, have not indicated plans to participate in the committee.