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WS-I Profiles Move to Next Phase

The Web Services-Interoperability Organization (WS-I) released a batch of specifications or "profiles" to clarify interoperability issues with Web services attachments, officials said Tuesday.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based standards consortium said it has published its Basic Profile 1.1, Attachments Profile 1.0 and Simple SOAP Binding Profile 1.0 as Final Material after approval by the WS-I member community. The group said it is currently working to develop sample applications and testing tools for use with the newly approved profiles.

In addition, at its recent community meeting, WS-I chartered a new working group, called the XML Schema Work Plan Working Group. The focus will be on collecting and understanding interoperability issues related to the use of XML Schema as "the means by which application data is defined with the intent of determining the most suitable course of action for WS-I in addressing those concerns," according to a statement released by the organization.

"WS-I understood from its members that existing Web services attachment specifications were increasingly presenting interoperability difficulties," Chris Ferris, chair of the WS-I Basic Profile Working Group, said in the statement. "The new profiles provide Web services developers with a flexible mechanism for creating attachment-enabled applications with predictable interoperability." Earlier this year, the WS-I Basic Security Profile Working Group finished its draft report. The Basic Security Profile provides security support for the three profiles released Tuesday.

As for the profiles themselves, the updated Basic Profile describes how core Web services specifications should be used together to develop interoperable Web services. To create version 1.1, the group said its Basic Profile 1.0 was re-architected to relocate all binding-specific envelope serialization requirements to its own profile; the Simple SOAP Binding Profile 1.0.

"This new structure enables the Basic Profile 1.1 to easily compose with any profile that specifies envelope serialization, including the Simple SOAP Binding Profile 1.0 and the Attachments Profile 1.0," the group said in its announcement.

With the release of the profiles, Web services that use attachments can be tested for WS-I conformance with a composition of Basic Profile 1.1 and Attachments Profile 1.0. Those that do not use attachments can be tested for conformance with a composition of Basic Profile 1.1 and Simple SOAP Binding Profile 1.0. A claim of conformance to both the Basic Profile 1.1 and the Simple SOAP Binding Profile 1.0 would be equivalent to a claim of conformance to the Basic Profile 1.0 plus the published errata, WS-I said.

The Simple SOAP Binding Profile 1.0 defines an XML structure for transmitting messages, called the envelope. The profile authorizes the use of that structure and places certain constraints on its use. The specification is also derived from the Basic Profile 1.0 requirements related to the serialization of the envelope and its representation in the message.

Lastly, the SOAP Messages with Attachments (SwA) Profile 1.0 defines a MIME multipart/related structure for packaging attachments with SOAP messages. The consortium said this profile complements the Basic Profile 1.1 to add support for conveying interoperable SwA-based attachments with SOAP messages.

Officials say they are now looking for companies to participate in the XML Schema Work Plan Working Group.

The profiles are now available for download.