OASIS Eyes Web Services Management Protocol

With all of the disparate pieces of Web services schema floating around in the high-tech ether, one organization has
charged itself with the task of reigning them in for close-knit assembly and
tighter integration. To solve this, Boston’s OASIS has formed a technical committee
to facilitate distributed systems management over the Internet.


The work of the new OASIS Management Protocol Technical Committee will make
it easier for businesses to manage their own Web services and oversee how
they operate with similar services offered by other companies. The ensuing
OASIS Management Protocol will manage desktops, services, and networks
across an enterprise or Internet environment.


OASIS said it is reviewing Web services standards and operations for
potential use in the Management Protocol, including XML , SOAP
, Open Model Interface
(OMI)
, and the Distributed Management Task
Force’s
Common
Information Model (CIM)
.


Novell’s Winston Bumpus, who serves as
chair of the OASIS Management Protocol Technical Committee, explained the
reason for OASIS’ attention to Web services management.


“The widespread need for the integration of systems and network management
tools is causing the industry to take a more holistic approach to the
management of networks — and Web services provide the ideal vehicle for
making that happen,” Bumpus said. “Our work at OASIS will help level the
playing field and allow companies to manage systems regardless of the
platform they use.”


While the idea of “management” of a certain important segment of technology
might sound ominous to open source fans, the concept of managing Web
services has become increasingly important to analysts and industry insiders
who view the Web services world as a complicated arrangement of very
different technologies, many of which are working to complete the same task.
OASIS is trying to bridge the gaps in those technologies so that one unified
method may be used for completing tasks such a filling purchase orders.


However, according to some research firms, such as Framingham, Mass.’s IDC,
there appears to be other issues at hand in the sector that may preempt
customers from worrying about how to manage Web services. An outstanding
concern is the lack of maturity in the development of Web services. Indeed,
much of what OASIS is working on is in the developmental stage. To that end,
enterprise customers have exhibited caution with regards to Web services
spending. Simply, they’re just unsure of too many important details.


IDC’s Program Manager for Web Services Software Sandra Rogers discussed the
current climate swirling around Web services in a research note Tuesday.


“Organizations may believe that there is strong value in the Web services
architecture, but justifying resources for any new technology in such a
tight economy has been a challenge,” said Rogers. “Users are proceeding with
caution, which could be good news for both users and vendors in the long
run, setting the stage for a more sustained and rational evolutionary growth
curve for this market.”


In a survey of more than 750 enterprises, IDC found that:

  • Four out of five enterprises intend to undertake Web services projects
    over the next three years, and nearly one in four have already completed an
    internal solution using Web services

  • Organizations plan to utilize Web services for a variety of business
    solutions; however, integration involving internal and external systems
    currently tops the list of functional uses

  • Web services market share is still be up for grabs: roughly 20 percent
    of respondents are currently undecided on which vendor to rely on

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