WS-I Readies Sample Applications for Basic Profile 1.0

The Web Services Interoperability (WS-I) organization
has released sample application released sample application guidelines and implementations that model a Web services supply chain management (SCM) scenario.


Leveraging the features of the Basic Profile 1.0, the documents by the open standards industry group suggest a supply chain management scenario that
employs Web services interoperability with different types of software
from
disparate vendors, from infrastructure providers, such as BEA and Oracle, to applications providers
such
as SAP and Microsoft.


Interoperability among disparate software vendors is considered by many
experts to be a key to breaking down the barriers to adoption of Web
services, which allow applications to talk to one another to complete
tasks,
such as purchase orders. Other stepping stones include security,
reliability
and manageability.


The WS-I made the announcement at the XML 2003 conference in
Philadelphia,
where the group will be demonstrating some vendors’ implementations.
The
WS-I Sample Applications Working Group vendors who have tested their
software with the model include BEA, Bowstreet, Corillian, IBM, Microsoft,
Novell, Oracle, Quovadx, SAP and Sun Microsystems.


SCM is used to reduce inventory, increase the speed of transactions
with
real-time data exchange, and to increase revenue by satisfying customer
demands more efficiently. SCM applications manage the supply chain as a
process from supplier to manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer to
consumer,
shuttling not only actual products but data about those products,
including
order status information, payment schedules, and ownership titles.


In the case of the WS-I, the sample application schema provides a
bundle of
Web services that use the WS-I Basic Profile 1.0. It uses a supply chain
scenario that models the interactions between multiple retail
storefronts,
warehouses and manufacturers, according to Rob Cheng, principle product
marketing manager for Web services and emerging standards at Oracle,
and
WS-I spokesman.


Cheng said working implementation packages might include a Web
storefront powered by BEA, with Oracle running the data warehouse.
Different
vendors’ products may be swapped in and out (i.e. BEA WebLogic for IBM
WebSphere), Cheng told internetnews.com.


The spec scenarios, which pick up where the publication of the WS-I
Basic
Profile 1.0 left
off,
translate use cases into a set of technical requirements.
They
define general messaging patterns for Web services, identify
interoperability requirements and align the flow of a scenario with the
requirements of the Basic Profile 1.0.


The model is available as a free download. Sinisa Zimek, chairman of
the
Sample Applications Working Group, said non WS-I members may use the 10
vendors’ packages along with technical architecture documents as a
starting
point, which they may copy and modify to their tastes.


ZapThink Senior Analyst Jason Bloomberg said the delivery of the sample
applications will free WS-I up to conduct other interoperability tests.


“Now that these deliverables are off the WS-I’s plate, they can focus
more
specifically on building the interoperability profile for Web Services
security — a tougher problem than basic interoperability, but every
bit as
important,” Bloomberg told internetnews.com.


Looking forward, Cheng said WS-I expects to have a draft version of
testing
tools the group has been working on ready early next year. The group is
also
cloose to finalizing attachments and security profiles next year.

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