Microsoft, others preview Web services metadata spec

IBM, BEA Systems, SAP and Microsoft have published an initial draft of a new Web services specification for retrieving Web services metadata, Microsoft has announced.

Additionally, IBM, BEA and Microsoft published an update to the Web services Addressing (WS-Addressing) specification, Microsoft said in a statement. WS-Addressing defines endpoint references and message information headers to allow systems to support the transmission of Web service messages.

Both specifications, along with others that Microsoft, IBM and other vendors are working on, are meant to help deliver on the promise of Web services by facilitating the exchange of data between disparate types of software applications in a standards-based way.

The new Web Services Metadata Exchange (WS-MetadataExchange) specification builds on the existing Web services architecture. It defines how Web services retrieve specific types of metadata used to interact with other Web services, according to a description on Microsoft's Web site.

The specification defines three request-response message pairs: One retrieves the WS-Policy associated with the receiving endpoint or a given target namespace, another retrieves the WSDL (Web Services Description Language) data and a third retrieves the XML schema, according to the description.

The current WS-MetadataExchange specification is an initial public draft release. Microsoft, IBM, BEA and SAP provide it for review and evaluation purposes only, and plan to solicit contributions and suggestions in the near future, they said.

More information about the WS-MetadateExchange specification can be found at:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/dnglobspec/html/ws-metadataexchange.asp

More details on the WS-Addressing specification is at:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/dnglobspec/html/ws-addressing.asp

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