Web services group still seeking security

Wednesday, 5 February 2003, 12:53 PM EST

The Web Services Interoperability organization (WS-I) was formed last year at the behest of companies including IBM and Microsoft to see to it that Web services products from different companies work together. The group now has approximately 160 members, including about 20 companies that are not information technology suppliers.

Although businesses are forging ahead with Web services applications as a way of bridging differences between disparate systems, minor incompatibilities are surfacing. The WS-I's stated goal is to make sure gear from various IT suppliers is compatible and to help customers iron out any Web services glitches. So far, the group has delivered a draft specification of basic Web services protocols, which is set to be finalized in the second quarter.

But to date, the WS-I has been better known for various political squabbles than for technical leadership. A high-profile spat between Sun Microsystems and its founding members has generated most of the attention for the group. After initially being shut out by founding companies including IBM, Microsoft and BEA Systems, Sun subsequently joined the organization.

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