OASIS approves WS-Security Web services spec

WS-Security, a widely supported proposal for securing Web services, has been accepted by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) as an official standard.

Ratification of the specification had been expected. The WS-Security specification was first published by IBM, Microsoft and VeriSign in April 2002 and subsequently submitted to OASIS, which created a WS-Security committee in July 2002.

This WS-Security specification proposes a standard set of Simple Object Access Protocol extensions that can be used when building secure Web services to implement message content integrity and confidentiality. The specified mechanisms can be used to accommodate a variety of security models and encryption technologies, according to a description of the specification.

The ratification of the WS-Security specification as a standard is a significant milestone for Web services and the industry overall, a Microsoft spokesman said in a statement Thursday.

WS-Security is a core component of the architecture for secure, reliable and transacted Web services and is supported broadly across the industry, Microsoft said. Numerous implementations are available today, including in WebSphere products from IBM, which has said it will update its implementation to conform to the final WS-Security specification.