Cape Clear, SilverStream support Web services standards

Two application server vendors, SilverStream Software Inc. and Cape Clear, announced support for Web services on Monday.

SilverStream Software, in Billerica, Mass., added support for UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration) and ebXML (electronic business XML) to its application server, which the company claims will enable users to describe and publish Web services to business registries and discover and locate existing Web services. The ultimate goal is to be able to build business relationships that involve the exchange of data or goods and services over the Web.

Dublin, Ireland-based CapeClear Software Ltd., for its part, introduced a beta release of CapeConnect Two, which it calls a Web Services Platform for J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) and EJBs (Enterprise JavaBeans). The software enables developers to expose EJB components as Web services over the Internet by generating WSDL (Web services description language) files. CapeConnect then provides SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) routing and marshalling for those components, so they can be delivered to and accessed by customers or partners that understand SOAP and XML.

CapeConnect also unifies the Microsoft .NET model with J2EE programs by guaranteeing bidirectional interoperability, so J2EE or EJB components can speak SOAP to any .NET service, such as the HailStorm set of Web services Microsoft detailed late last month.

Cape Clear and SilverStream are not the first application server vendors to support the Web services standards. Both IBM and BEA Systems, in fact, have announced support for the budding protocols. Although the Web services market is still relatively young, most of the major application server vendors are expected to fully support the current de facto Web services standards, including XML and UDDI, as well as SOAP and WSDL, according to Peter Urban, an analyst at AMR Research in Boston.

"The application server is one of the core components of a Web services architecture," he added.

Analysts said that although big players Microsoft Corp., IBM Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., and Oracle Corp. are driving the frameworks and infrastructure technologies for building Web services, they will look to third parties to complete the picture.

San Jose, Calif.-based Dataquest Inc. estimates that the software component of Web services will be a $1.7 billion market by 2003.

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