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Web Services Group Releases Testing Tools

On the road to making Web services as commonplace as e-mail, one open industry effort began preparations for the release of its compatibility platform.

San Francisco-based Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I) Wednesday made public two testing tools for interoperability assessment with the WS-I Basic Profile 1.0, which is due out this summer.

The group says pre-release versions of the Web Service Communication Monitor and the Web Service Profile Analyzer are now available. With implementations in both C# and Java, the tools can be used on any Web services platform. Testing results help developers make sure that their Web services meet the WS-I interoperability guidelines.

The tools and their supporting documentation and processes were developed by the WS-I Test Tools Working Group. Final versions will be launched at the same time as the Basic Profile.

"The tools have been designed in such a way to allow for expansion and extension, so they can accommodate the Basic Profile as well as future profiles," said Test Tools Working Group chair Jacques Durand. "They can be configured to specifically address whichever profile definition they need to verify."

The "Monitor" captures messages exchanged between Web services and the software that invokes them and stores the messages for later analysis. This pre-release version captures HTTP-based Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) messages.

The "Analyzer" evaluates messages captured by Monitor, and also validates the description and registration artifacts of the Web service. This includes the Web services Description Language (WSDL) document or documents that describes the Web service, and the XML schema files that describe the data types used in the WSDL service definition and the Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI) registration entries.

WS-I says the output from Analyzer is a report that indicates whether or not a Web service meets the interoperability guidelines of the WS-I Basic Profile. The report gives details on the specific deviations and failures, so that users know which requirements of the WS-I Basic Profile were not met. Because this is a pre-release tool, WS-I said it also looking for public comment.

Founded in 2002, WS-I is chartered to so that customer information can freely move across platforms, applications and programming languages. Currently, there are some 170 companies that participate under the WS-I umbrella. So far the group has published several draft proposals for unifying Web services protocols, including SOAP, WSDL, UDDI, and XML definitions for documents.

The group is regulated by nine founding members: Oracle , IBM , Microsoft , BEA , Fujitsu, Intel , Accenture , Hewlett-Packard and SAP .

The membership recently voted Sun Microsystems and webMethods to its core board of directors.