Oracle exec: Web services proliferation will come

Anyone puzzled over the whereabouts of all the Web services that vendors have been talking about need only wait a bit longer, an Oracle Corp. executive said Wednesday at the Web Services Edge 2002 conference here.

Vendors and others have been bullish on Web services, but users must be wondering where all these Web services are, said John Magee, vice president of the Oracle9i middleware and tools group. But the services will come as standardization of Web services technologies occurs, he stressed.

"We fully expect, as more assets get Web services-enabled and more and more software gets Web services-enabled, it's going to continue to take hold," Magee said.

The spread of Web services will happen at a grassroots level, Magee said. "As these explode, Web services will be transformative in the way we do things, but it's a grassroots kind of bubbling up," he said.

Standardization is the key, and Oracle is working with the WS-I (Web Services Interoperability) organization to boost interoperable Web services and is developing tests to gauge interoperability of vendors' implementations, he said. A supply chain applications test is one example, according to Magee.

The standards process, however, has taken "a somewhat rocky road," with incompatible Web services implementations, he said.

"The good news is we are making progress," Magee said.

Oracle also recently pushed through an affirmative vote at the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) to recommend that W3C find standard technologies for Web services orchestration, amid a slew of vendor proposals for handling this function. Orchestration boosts use of Web services in applications such as business-to-business e-commerce.

Oracle also would like to see Sun Microsystems, which has not been involved in WS-I, become involved, Magee said. Oracle is working to that end, according to Magee.

Oracle, for its part, has a Web services-enabled architecture in its Oracle 9i platform, including a SOAP-based portal infrastructure, Magee said.

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