WS-I publishes draft guidance documentation

The Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I), a year-old industry group that offers application development guidance, released Thursday draft versions of a series of documents intended to describe the design and deployment of a sample, standards-compliant Web services application.

The drafts include a sample technical architecture, use cases and usage scenarios documentation illustrating material covered in WS-I's Basic Profile 1.0.

The Basic Profile, the first project the group undertook, is an implementation guide on using a set of core standards in developing interoperable Web services. A draft version was released in October, and a final version of the Basic Profile is scheduled for release during the second quarter.

The new documents released Thursday are intended to define best practices for using the Basic Profile, and to offer real-world implementation information for customers building applications for Web services, the WS-I said.

Web services technology aims at creating a common infrastructure for connecting via the Internet's diverse applications, allowing heterogeneous IT systems to interact with each other. While other groups oversee the standards involved, WS-I focuses on assisting developers with the practical work of creating interoperable software.

The WS-I's Sample Application Technical Architecture explains the design and implementation of a supply-chain management application that uses elements covered in the Basic Profile, including several schema naming conventions, SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) message formats and styles, and WSDL (Web Services Description Language) design practices.

The WS-I's Use Cases document describes the high-level interactions among participants in the sample application, including retailers, warehouses and manufacturers. Another companion document, the WS-I's Usage Scenarios, translates the application's use cases into a set of technical requirements.

WS-I, based in Palo Alto, California, is now soliciting feedback on the documents, posted for review on its Web site, at The organization plans to release the three documents during the second quarter, in conjunction with its Basic Profile 1.0 release.

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