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Web Services Group Releases UDDI V.3

A group spearheading one of the most integral components of Web services announced the third version of the Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) protocol, which when it is finally finished may serve as a global registry to help locate business partners.

The release of UDDI V.3 beta nodes by the Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) Business Registry (UBR) Operators Council is the latest in a series of steps to help create a sort of global yellow pages to be accessed with Web services , which help applications communicate with one another.

The latest version includes digital signature support to bolster security for Web services -- long acknowledged as one of the barriers to adoption.

The UDDI Operators Council, comprised of members from IBM, Microsoft, SAP and NTT Communications, works on implementations of the specification. It later publishes and submits the beta implementation to the OASIS UDDI Specification Technical Committee to help refine and improve the UDDI V.3 Specification.

The council views UDDI as one of the major building blocks that enable successful Web service deployments. "As UDDI V.3 progresses toward an OASIS Standard, the UBR Beta implementation will provide for verification of the completeness of the specification, as well as give users and tool providers an opportunity to get ready for the new functionality," said George Zagelow, managing director, UDDI Operators Council.

Few analysts refute that notion.

"The beta release of UBR V.3 takes a further step in bringing this important specification closer to successful real-world implementations," said Charles Abrams, research director, Gartner Research.

Jason Bloomberg, senior analyst at XML and Web services research firm ZapThink, said UDDI has become far more important for service-oriented architectures since the day it was introduced as a global public registry because it can support the discovery and location independence of Web Services.

"With some of the new security capabilities in UDDI v3, the standard is even more useful within SOAs, but is also more practical for B2B purposes as well," Bloomberg told internetnews.com. "We still won't see "global yellow pages" applications of UDDI registries, but we're much more likely to see pre-existing groups of business partners using UDDI as an element of their B2B plans."

Bloomberg pointed to the Picture Services Network (PSN), a UDDI-based registry of companies in the digital photo finishing business, as an example of this type of arrangement. That group is headed by such companies as Eastman Kodak, HP, and Systinet.

UDDI V.3 also boasts user-defined keys, which help users create human readable values for keys based on the known concept of domain names and portable keys, which allow keys to be copied between registries without being changed. This makes it possible for public and private registries to import information from others.

Also, the UDDI Business Registry (UBR) will eventually serve as the recognized root registry for globally unique keys, where affiliate registries will be able to reserve UDDI keys.

UDDI Business Registry V.3 beta implementations can be found at IBM's, Microsoft's and SAP's Web sites.