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W3C: WS-Addressing is Good to Go

Another brick in the wall of Web services standards fell into place this week.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) ratified Web Services Addressing 1.0 as a standard, removing another stumbling block on the road to interoperability among distributed computing systems.

WS-Addressing introduces a way to specify the destination address, reply messages and faults in SOAP messages, according to a W3C statement.

Specifically, WS-Addressing promotes asynchronous message exchanges, and allows more than two services to interact. These are both functions that enable application-to-application communication, a hallmark of Web services.

WS-Addressing uses end-point reference markers, which work like cookies and enable single sign-on execution.

The spec was written by IBM, Microsoft, BEA Systems and a number of other vendors with a vested interest in making Web services work.

Andrew Layman, director of connected systems integration at Microsoft, said WS-Addressing is important because WS-Trust, WS-ReliableMessaging, and WS-Coordination need it to provide reliable Web services that interoperate across platforms.

Layman said in a statement that Microsoft will add WS-Addressing in future Web services-enabled products, including the Windows Communication Foundation 1.0.

Many analysts believe that Web services will be a multi-billion-dollar market for years to come, thanks to the demand for self-managing networks that can execute business transactions without human intervention.

Many analysts also realize that companies are loathe to craft service-oriented architectures (SOA)   to support these models.

Companies won't fully embrace the model without proof that the Web services they would like to exchange will be supported by most or all of the architectures of their end-user customers, partners and suppliers.

This is why it is so important for specs like WS-Addressing 1.0, which provides a blueprint to teach developers how to address objects in Web services applications, to be passed as standards.

W3C also recently received WS-Policy as a submission for formal approval as a standard after its developers filled a hole in the spec that made companies reluctant to write to it.

WS-Policy was introduced in 2002 by IBM, Microsoft, BEA Systems and others as a means for Web services to express their requirements and policies to other Web services.