WS-Security spec nearing completion

Friday, 22 August 2003, 8:04 AM EST

Web services security is a huge issue for IT, with many companies holding off implementation of real-world Web services projects until there's a way to truly lock them down. WS-Security is the specification they're waiting on.

WS-Security is an emerging standard for implementing message-level security in Web services. Its development is being shepharded by OASIS Open. The goal of the emerging spec is to provide a standard interface between a Web service and a lower-level security provider, defining how authentication data is transferred.

The WS-Security specification was slated for an acceptance vote this past June. The draft did not gain acceptance at that time, but the changes remaining to be accomplished, as delineated in the WS-Security Issues List, are minimal and mostly involve cleaning up ambiguous language.

Several vendors -- including IBM, Microsoft, and BEA -- have already released or are planning to release products that incorporate draft version (PDF format) of the WS-Security specification. These products should be compatible with the eventually final 1.0 version of the WS-Security specification.

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