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WS-ReliableMessaging Sent to OASIS

UPDATED: A group of software vendors submitted Web Services-ReliableMessaging (WS-RM) to OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards), officials announced Tuesday.

IBM , Microsoft , BEA Systems and Tibco Software first published the spec more than two years ago to provide a platform for reliable messaging in a Web services environment.

WS-RM sponsors hope to get a technical committee and charter formed to review the technology and refine it to gain acceptance as a Web services standard down the road.

The specification addresses messages sent in a Web service environment, ensuring they aren't lost in transport and there aren't any duplicated. That reliability is important in transaction-critical industries like financial services, which need to ensure orders aren't dropped or sent multiple times because of such events as network outages.

The specification is very similar to a current Web services standard, WS-Reliability, ratified by OASIS in November 2004. WS-Reliability is backed by another coalition of software vendors: Sun Microsystems , Hitachi, NEC, Oracle , Fujitsu and Sonic Software.

While there might be similarities, Ari Bixhorn, Microsoft director of Web services strategy, said the two technologies have different design goals.

"The focus of WS-RM is to provide a modular specification that can either stand alone or be combined with functionality in WS-Addressing, WS-Security and other specifications in the WS-* architecture," he said.

There has been some contention between the two camps regarding the seemingly overlapping specifications. In the past Sun has said the two competing specifications would drive a wedge in the industry and that, furthermore, IBM and Microsoft were a "disruptive force" in the industry.

Sun has backed down from that contention, enough so that the software company is listed in today's announcement as one of 16 organizations that have expressed support for WS-RM's inclusion at OASIS. Also included in the list is fellow WS-Reliability sponsor Sonic Software.

"We look forward to collaborating with our industry partners, including supporters of WS-Reliability such as Sun Microsystems, to make this the most robust reliable messaging standard for our customers," Bixhorn said. "We're very excited about the broad industry support for this technical committee from not only the core Web services vendors, but from customers, organizations and universities."

Officials from Sun were unavailable for comment at press time.