Merrill Lynch Is Bullish on Web Services

Describing Web services as one of the holy grails of the technology industry, financial services giant Merrill Lynch today announced it has joined the Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I).

The WS-I was formed in February to help accelerate the development and deployment of interoperable Web services across a variety of platforms, applications and programming languages. The group’s high-powered founding members include Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, BEA, Fujitsu, Intel, Accenture, Hewlett-Packard and SAP. More than 150 companies have signed on with WS-I, according to the organization.

“We see huge potential in Web services, both in terms of re-engineering our overall cost structure and, just as importantly, in allowing us to deliver differentiated services to our clients. WS-I represents a vendor agnostic forum to champion our needs, and we’re excited to be a member,” said John McKinley, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Merrill Lynch.

Web services describes a standardized way of integrating Web-based applications using open standards such as XML, SOAP, WSDL and UDDI open standards. The goal of Web services is to allow different applications from different sources to communicate with each other without custom coding. Because all communication is in XML, Web services are not tied to any one operating system or programming language.

“The goal of true interoperability can only be achieved with the participation of companies from a diverse set of industries,” said Tom Glover, chairman of the Web services Interoperability Organization. “We are pleased that Merrill Lynch, one of the early commercial adopters of Web services, has become a member of WS-I.”

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