Khanderao on Emerging And Integration Technologies

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Announcements from WS standardizations world at OASIS

This month has been eventful for SOA related standardizations at OASIS, the international standards consortium. It has standardized WS-Trust, WS-Secure Conversation, WS-Context and WS-BPEL. The announcements came one after another… on March 27th 2007 WS-Trust and Ws-Secure Communication, April 2nd, WS-Context, and WS-BPEL on April 12th. All these specifications took around 3 years of hectic joint efforts by their respective technical committees whose members came from various software vendors

WS-trust and WS-Secure Conversations provide additional building blocks on top of WS-Security. WS-Trust provides primitives and extensions for the issuance, exchange and validation of security tokens and dissemination of credentials within different trust domains. It will help to establish a programmatic trust for a secure communication between the communicating. The Web Services Secure Conversation Language defines mechanisms for establishing and sharing security contexts, and deriving keys from security contexts.

WS-Context is an outcome of an initiative called WS-CAF. The efforts began some time in December 2003. WS-Context provides a session construct in a decoupled SOA world. It is yet another but an important building block in WS architecture. Implementations of other runtimes e.g. WS-BPEL can leverage. Currently many implementations depend on features like Endpoint reference etc from WS-Addressing to represent some conversation or sessions in the WS world. As WS-Context provides a more generalized session model than WSA, WS-Context may find place in some of these usages. However, there is a competing standard WS-Coordination which is also OASIS specification. WS-Coordination is targetted to solve the similar problem and it has more momentum. It is interesting to note that it seems OASIS allows competing standards to be OASIS standards as long as they follow proper standardization process.

The OASIS also announced an initiative to standardize Service Component Architecture (SCA) as Open Composite Service Architecture. Considering the fact that SCA is fairly mature specification, I hope that it may take a little bit less to be the OASIS standard.

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