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OASIS Forms Web Services Technical Committee

With all of the bluster about Web services being bandied about, XML interoperability consortium OASIS Monday said it has set up a committee whose focus is to create a standard that will allow the plug-n-play of visual Web services with portals or other Web applications.

Backed by a cadre of Web service specialists, the Web Services for Remote Portals (WSRP) Technical Committee will work on helping businesses provide content or applications free of manual adaptation, so they may be easily "consumed" by portals. Built on such technologies as SOAP, UDDI and WSDL, WSRP services will allow remote portlet Web services to be implemented in such platforms as Java J2EE and Microsoft Corp.'s .NET.

Una Kearns, XML architect for Documentum and member of the board of directors for OASIS, explained the practical use for the committee's purpose.

"This will enable developers to easily incorporate content management capabilities in applications and deliver content through a variety of channels, reducing the total cost and time necessary to integrate and deploy Web and portal infrastructures."

So as to avoid overlap, Karl Best, director of technical operations for OASIS, said the WSRP plans to harmonize WSRP with existing Web application programming models and the work of the W3C (e.g., XForms, DOM, XML Events, XPath, XLink, XML Component API task force).

Members of the OASIS WSRP Technical Committee include currently include Bowstreet, Divine, Documentum, Epicentric, Factiva, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard Company, IBM, Interwoven, IONA, Oracle Corp., Plumtree Software, Reed Elsevier, Reuters, SilverStream Software, and other OASIS members.

While much talked about in the last year or so, research firms such as Gartner Inc. said Web services won't get going until this year, and should be rolling along by 2004. While the group found that approximately 80 percent of all platform vendors will support Web services architectures by 2003, one Gartner analyst advised caution.

"Enterprises should take their first steps in 2002 to take advantage of the low-risk aspects of Web services in internal developments," said David Smith, vice president and research director for Gartner. "With few exceptions, implementing high-risk business or technology projects with Web services should be avoided until at least 2004. Enterprises should first identify a short list of internal development problems that can potentially be fixed through Web services technologies. Then, they should set a schedule for addressing them in the first half of 2002."