IBM upgrades Web Services Toolkit

IBM Corp. this week announced the latest version of its Web Services Toolkit (WSTK), which features a proposed mechanism for managing the services.

Supporting both the Linux and Windows environments, the new WSTK Version 3.3 provides a Web services runtime, new specifications, and prototypes from IBM research and development labs. Materials are included for developers to get started with Web services development. IBM releases the WSTK periodically to showcase some of the ideas that IBM Research product teams have developed in regards to Web services, said John Feller, manager of emerging technologies development at IBM, in Raleigh, N.C.

Among the new features in the toolkit is Tivoli Management Web Services and Common Event Format, to help standardize communication between components. A demo is included highlighting how a Web service can interact with management applications, according to IBM.

"This is saying now that you have a more enterprise environment, that you may have hundreds of Web services. In that case, it is an option to add some management tools," Feller said. Common Event Format is a proposal for a standardized format for events that happen as a system is running, said Doug Davis, WSTK technical lead at IBM, also in Raleigh.

"We're seeing if a Common Event Format is a good idea, and our Tivoli product group is working with us and they will make a determination on whether to put a Common Event Format into a future product," Feller said.

Also included in the WSTK are:

* Wide Spectrum Stress Tools, a suite of tools with an emphasis on Web services. The tools can be used to test Web services applications across heterogeneous environments. "This allows you to analyze the performance of your Web service, for example, to see how it will act in a real world environment when lots of customers [are accessing] it," Davis said.

*Federated Identity Demo, a proof of concept implementation of a federated identity management system supporting cross-enterprise authentication. Support is provided for authentication mechanisms such as LDAP, Kerberos, and basic authentication.

* Privacy Demo, illustrating how privacy policy can control access to personal information. A Web application is featured that maintains personal data in the Profile Service.

* WS-Inspection Crawler, which searches the Web for a given WS-Inspection document using the name as input. If matches are found, it displays the services contained by the passed WS-Inspection document in tabular format, according to IBM. The concept is similar to UDDI directories.

The toolkit is available for a free trial download on IBM's alphaWorks site at There also is a running a demo of the toolkit at

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