W3C publishes Web Services Description Language draft

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has issued Web Services Description Language (WSDL) 1.2 and WSDL 1.2 Bindings as W3C Public Working Drafts.

WSDL 1.2 is an XML-based language that describes a Web Service (the data exchanged, the protocol to use and its location on the Web). WSDL 1.2 Bindings describes how to use WSDL 1.2 with SOAP 1.2, HTTP and MIME. These are the first in the series of WSDL 1.2 drafts; W3C invites the Web development community to review and comment on these and subsequent versions.

W3C, an organization that developsc ommon protocols that promote the Web's evolution and "ensure its interoperability," has been at work developing an architecture for Web Services which takes into account the needs of users as well as technology vendors, pursuing the development of open standardized components for Web Services. The group has done this for HTML, the XML family of technologies, Scalable Vector Graphics, and Voice-Web technologies, according to Hugo Haas, W3C Web Services Activity Lead.

The W3C Web Services Activity currently consists of three royalty-free working groups whose focus is to develop an open, interoperable and extensible model for Web Services (Web Services Architecture Working Group), as well as critical components, such as an XML-based protocol for data to be exchanged and processed by applications (XML Protocol Working Group, developing SOAP 1.2), and technologies for providing descriptions of Web Services (Web Services Description Working Group). Each W3C Web Services Working Group is chartered to conduct its technical work in public, with discussion lists, meeting reports and drafts of work in progress.

Many developers and IT managers learned about WSDL as a specification created by individual companies. After WSDL 1.1 was published as an informational document by W3C, companies and developers expressed interest in W3C pursuing the development of a Web services description language that could be based on WSDL 1.1, but would be subject to the W3C Process and technical requirements, such as support for W3C Recommendations, and coordination with other W3C technical Activities. Others were interested in seeing Web Services components developed with a mandate for royalty-free technologies.

As a result, the W3C Web Services Description Working Group was chartered to make an open, stable Web Services Description Language, based in part on requirements and usage scenarios set by the full group. Today's publication includes better component definition, which was the result of having open participation in the framing of requirements and review of WSDL 1.1, and the Working Group requirements for an unencumbered specification.

The W3C Web Services Description Working Group, as one of over 30 W3C Working Groups, must ensure that their work results in a specification that interoperates cleanly with existing W3C work, including that of both the XML and Semantic Web Activities. For the XML Activity, the Web Services Description Working Group continues to track the evolution of the XML Family of specifications. For the Semantic Web Activity, the Working Group is chartered to cooperate with the Resource Description Framework (RDF) Interest Group to produce a mapping of WSDL 1.2 to RDF.

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