Web services management protocol spec eyed

OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) has formed a technical committee to propose an XML-based management protocol specification for Web services, said a Novell official Thursday who is chairing the committee.

The OASIS Management Protocol Technical Committee, formed about two weeks ago, is intended to boost distributed systems management over the Internet, according to Novell Inc. Management of Web services through use of Web services is the crux of the effort, said Novell's Winston Bumpus, director of standards for the company, in San Jose, California, and chairman of the new OASIS committee.

As the industry is building a Web services platform, it is important that there be an infrastructure to manage it, Bumpus said. The protocol would be used for functions such as resource allocation, monitoring, controlling, and troubleshooting, Bumpus said.

The committee is reviewing a number of technologies for use in the protocol, including as XML, SOAP, OMI (Open Model Interface), DMTF CIM (Distributed Management Task Force Common Information Model), and DMTF CIM Operations. Plans are to have the specification ready in June 2003, with reference implementations to appear next spring and supportive products to be available in late-2003, Bumpus said.

The effort is intended to enable companies to not only manage their own services but to also oversee interaction of those services with services from other companies, according to Novell. The work is intended to deliver an industry-standard protocol for managing desktops, services, and networks across an enterprise or Internet environment.

An analyst, however, was skeptical of the OASIS effort. Management of Web services is a complicated issue and is hindered because of lack of uniformity in development of Web services components, said analyst Rikki Kirzner, research director at IDC in Mountain View, California.

"It's far more complex than one standard's going to solve," Kirzner said.

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