Sun to join OASIS' WSBPEL committee

When a newly-formed committee at the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) meets for the first time next week to begin formalizing a Web services process choreography standard, Sun Microsystems will be there participating, despite its leading role in crafting a rival specification.

Sun is still selecting its representative to OASIS' Web Services Business Process Execution Language (WSBPEL) technical committee, but one will be named before the group's first meeting on May 16, Sun spokesman Bruce McConnel said.

In collaboration with several other industry vendors, Sun released last June the Web Service Choreography Interface (WSCI) specification. Two months later, IBM Corp., Microsoft Corp. and BEA Systems Inc. unveiled a similar effort, the Business Process Execution Language for Web Services (BPEL4WS) specification.

Now, the two competing standards are under review by different standards bodies, as the World Wide Web Consortium considers WSCI and the OASIS group begins work on BPEL4WS.

With heavyweights IBM and Microsoft backing it, BPEL4WS is the specification gaining industry momentum. BEA Systems Inc., which had a hand in crafting both BPEL4WS and WSCI, is working on including BPEL4WS in a forthcoming update of its WebLogic Platform. It has not drawn up similar plans for WSCI.

For now, Sun remains committed to WSCI and interested in monitoring the progress of BPEL4WS, said McConnel.

"At this point, the (OASIS) group has just come together, so I think Sun is going to wait to make any decisions as the process unfolds," he said. "It's too early to begin answering questions like, 'Does this mean Sun is pulling out of WSCI or supporting BPEL?'"

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