Sun joins WS-I

Sun Microsystems Inc., which had been shut out of the Web Services Interoperabilty Organization (WS-I) effort spearheaded by IBM Corp. and Microsoft Corp., is joining WS-I as a contributing member and intends to run for the group's policymaking board in March 2003.

Founded in February, WS-I is intended to be an open industry effort to promote Web services interoperability across platforms, applications, and programming languages. But Sun, which invented Java, a leading deployment platform for Web services, had not been part of the organization.

Now that Sun can become a board member, as per recently approved by-laws, it is signing up.

"From Day 1, we've been supportive of WS-I and the work they're doing with interoperability. That hasn't been the issue. Our issue has been the governance model that has not allowed Sun to participate in WS-I," said Ed Julson, Sun group marketing manager for Web services standards and technologies, in Santa Clara, Calif.

"I think we're a credible player in the industry. We have a long history of innovation in the standards arena and driving network computing," Julson said.

Sun intends to promote Web services standards at organizations such as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and then align that work on converged standards with WS-I profiles, Julson said.

"Over the past six to eight months, Web services standards has completely exploded in terms of complexity so we have a situation now where we have this tremendous number of specifications [which] in many cases are overlapping. We have to reduce this complexity and [merge] the overlapping specifications," said Julson.

BEA Systems Inc., IBM, Oracle Corp., and WS-I, in prepared statements released by Sun, welcomed Sun to the organization.

Sun's press release on its joining WS-I did not include a remark from Microsoft.

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