Free WS-I interoperability tests due in 2002

Interoperability tests for Web services, to gauge the compatibility of different implementations, will be available for free from the Web Services Interoperability (WS-I) organization by the end of this year, said an Oracle official Thursday.

Specifically, WS-I will provide tools to test the conformity of Web services to basic profiles, said Rob Cheng, Oracle Corp. senior product manager of Oracle9i Application Server and co-chairman of the WS-I marketing communications committee. Cheng spoke of the WS-I plan during the Web Services Edge 2002 conference here on Thursday.

If a Web service passes the WS-I test, "It means it's compatible with any other Web service," conforming to the profile, which will feature specifications such as UDDI and SOAP, Cheng said.

Also to be released by WS-I is a set of best practices for interoperability and use case scenarios, Cheng said. Supply chain is one specific sample application to be released by WS-I, to test for attributes such as asynchronous communications between a manufacturer and a warehouse, said Cheng.

Users can download the tools and test applications, according to Cheng.

"You can freely download the testing tools from the [WS-I] Web site once they are posted," Cheng said.

WS-I does expect users who have passed the compatibility tests to post results in a public place, he said.

The only time users will have to sign an agreement to use the tests is if they want to integrate them into an interactive development environment, Cheng said.

Oracle's John Magee, vice president of the Oracle9i middleware and tools group, referred to the WS-I tests briefly during a session at the conference on Wednesday.

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