BEA, IBM, Microsoft, SAP and Sun have submitted the WS-Addressing Web services specification to the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) for consideration as a standard.
WS-Addressing, or Web Services Addressing, is a key specification for software services on the Internet. It defines endpoint references and message information headers to allow systems to support the transmission of Web-service messages. WS-Addressing is designed to underlie other specifications such as WS-ReliableMessaging and WS-Federation.
"This is a critical infrastructure piece, it is at the foundation of Web services," director of Web services technical marketing at Microsoft, Dave Mendlen, said. "The other Web services build on top of this core Web services specification."
Along with other Web services specifications that Microsoft, IBM and other vendors are working on, WS-Addressing is meant to help deliver on the promise of Web services by facilitating the exchange of data between disparate types of software applications.
Sun and SAP are new in the list of WS-Addressing backers. Sun, along with Oracle, Nokia and several other companies in April submitted a competing specification called WS-MessageDelivery to handle Web services addressing. After the peace agreement with Microsoft earlier this year, Sun now endorses WS-Addressing.
"At the end of the day our customers want one specification. It would be logical to back the one with the most market momentum," director of Web services marketing for Sun, Ed Julson, said. "This is a fairly direct outcome of some of the discussions Sun and Microsoft have had to find ways to interoperate."
Sun planned to support WS-Addressing in products that were part of its Java Enterprise System, Julson said.
During the W3C process, Sun and the other WS-MessageDelivery creators would offer comments on the WS-Addressing specification to come to a single addressing standard, he said.
SAP, for its part, intended to support WS-Addressing in a future version of its NetWeaver product, a technology architect at SAP, Marc Goodner, said. "We see this specification as being important to help reduce complexity for our customers," he said.
Microsoft, IBM and BEA will also support WS-Addressing in their products, company representatives said.
"The whole goal is to ensure interoperability for our customers so that they can integrate key business processes that might be on different platforms," director of Dynamic eBusiness Technologies at IBM, Karla Norsworthy, said.
The WS-Addressing creators call the submission of the specification to the W3C a milestone for their collaboration. Also, the companies claim it is part of their efforts to provide a foundation for Web services based on standards.
The WS-Addressing authors would not charge royalties in conjunction with the specification, they said.
More details on the WS-Addressing specification is at:http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/dnglobspec/html/ws-addressing.asp