RealTime IT News

OASIS Eyes Web Services Management Protocol

With all of the disparate pieces of Web services schema floating around in the high-tech ether, one organization has charged itself with the task of reigning them in for close-knit assembly and tighter integration. To solve this, Boston's OASIS has formed a technical committee to facilitate distributed systems management over the Internet.

The work of the new OASIS Management Protocol Technical Committee will make it easier for businesses to manage their own Web services and oversee how they operate with similar services offered by other companies. The ensuing OASIS Management Protocol will manage desktops, services, and networks across an enterprise or Internet environment.

OASIS said it is reviewing Web services standards and operations for potential use in the Management Protocol, including XML , SOAP , Open Model Interface (OMI), and the Distributed Management Task Force's Common Information Model (CIM).

Novell's Winston Bumpus, who serves as chair of the OASIS Management Protocol Technical Committee, explained the reason for OASIS' attention to Web services management.

"The widespread need for the integration of systems and network management tools is causing the industry to take a more holistic approach to the management of networks -- and Web services provide the ideal vehicle for making that happen," Bumpus said. "Our work at OASIS will help level the playing field and allow companies to manage systems regardless of the platform they use."

While the idea of "management" of a certain important segment of technology might sound ominous to open source fans, the concept of managing Web services has become increasingly important to analysts and industry insiders who view the Web services world as a complicated arrangement of very different technologies, many of which are working to complete the same task. OASIS is trying to bridge the gaps in those technologies so that one unified method may be used for completing tasks such a filling purchase orders.

However, according to some research firms, such as Framingham, Mass.'s IDC, there appears to be other issues at hand in the sector that may preempt customers from worrying about how to manage Web services. An outstanding concern is the lack of maturity in the development of Web services. Indeed, much of what OASIS is working on is in the developmental stage. To that end, enterprise customers have exhibited caution with regards to Web services spending. Simply, they're just unsure of too many important details.

IDC's Program Manager for Web Services Software Sandra Rogers discussed the current climate swirling around Web services in a research note Tuesday.

"Organizations may believe that there is strong value in the Web services architecture, but justifying resources for any new technology in such a tight economy has been a challenge," said Rogers. "Users are proceeding with caution, which could be good news for both users and vendors in the long run, setting the stage for a more sustained and rational evolutionary growth curve for this market."

In a survey of more than 750 enterprises, IDC found that:

  • Four out of five enterprises intend to undertake Web services projects over the next three years, and nearly one in four have already completed an internal solution using Web services
  • Organizations plan to utilize Web services for a variety of business solutions; however, integration involving internal and external systems currently tops the list of functional uses
  • Web services market share is still be up for grabs: roughly 20 percent of respondents are currently undecided on which vendor to rely on