|By Christopher Ferris||
|December 31, 2003 09:19 AM EST||
On August 12, 2003, the Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I), released the Final Material version of the WS-I Basic Profile 1.0 specification. This publication represents an important milestone for WS-I and the Web services community as a whole. It specifies the standards and technologies required for interoperability between Web services implementations running on different software and operating system platforms.
The Promise of Interoperability
The promise of interoperability is possibly the most important aspect of Web services technologies. That promise stems from the fact that Web services has its foundations in XML, which itself is interoperable across all platforms and programming languages. However, because Web services leverages heavily on the extensible nature of XML, the interoperability aspect of Web services is significantly challenged.
While most, if not all, vendors provide support for the established Web services standards, they are still motivated to provide added value to their customers in the form of advanced feature support for things such as security, reliability, transactions, and business process orchestration. Because many of the advanced Web services features are still in the early stages of development and adoption, developers and IT managers need more than just a checklist of (emerging) standards when making project implementation or product purchasing decisions. They need help in being able to determine when they are "coloring outside the lines" so that they can weigh the merits of incorporating these advanced features against the importance of ensuring broad interoperability of the deployed solution.
WS-I was founded with a mission to provide users of Web services technology with the guidance and tools that help them better understand where the boundary lies between the interoperable and not-necessarily-interoperable solution spaces so that they can make well-informed decisions.
The Web Services Interoperability Organization is an open industry effort chartered to promote Web services interoperability across platforms, applications, and programming languages. The organization brings together a diverse community of Web services leaders to respond to customer needs by providing guidance, recommended practices, and supporting resources, such as testing tools and sample applications, that enable the development of interoperable Web services.
The Basic Profile 1.0 is the first of a set of deliverables being produced by WS-I related to the Basic Profile. When complete, the package of deliverables produced in conjunction with all WS-I Profiles will be as follows:
- Use cases and usage scenarios: Use cases and usage scenarios capture (respectively) business and technical requirements for the use of Web services. These requirements reflect the classes of real-world requirements supporting Web services solutions, and provide a framework to demonstrate the guidelines described in WS-I Profiles.
- Profiles: A set of named Web services specifications at specific revision levels, together with a set of implementation and interoperability guidelines recommending how the specifications may be used to develop interoperable Web services.
- Sample applications: Demonstrate the implementation of applications that are built from Web services usage scenarios and use cases, and that conform to a given set of profiles. Implementations of the same sample application on multiple platforms, languages, and development tools demonstrate interoperability in action, and provide readily usable resources for the Web services practitioner.
- Testing tools: Used to monitor and analyze interactions with a Web service to determine whether or not the Web service instance or its artifacts (such as messages, WSDL, and UDDI registration components) conform to WS-I Profile guidelines.
Philosophy of the Profile
The WS-I Basic Profile was developed by the Basic Profile Working Group with a set of guiding principles that have been outlined in the Profile. These guiding principles form the "philosophy of the Profile."
Possibly the most important of these guiding principles is that there can be no guarantee of interoperability. The best that we could hope to achieve would be to improve the potential for interoperability since we were only dealing with the very basics of Web services technologies and we did not intend to address application-level semantics. Another key guiding principle is that the Profile never relaxes requirements of an underlying specification. That is to say that the Profile never changes a MUST to a SHOULD. However, the Profile often seeks to improve interoperability by reducing the optional features of an underlying specification by changing SHOULDs and SHOULD NOTs to MUSTs and MUST NOTs.
The Profile also focuses on interoperability, not functionality. While the underlying specifications may contain design flaws and inconsistencies, the Profile focuses only on those that directly affect interoperability. WS-I leaves the work of addressing any inadequacies of a specification to the standards body that is assigned stewardship of the standard.
Scope of the Profile
Each Profile has a scope that is defined by the set of referenced specifications. A Profile attempts to improve interoperability within its own scope by placing constraints on optional features of the referenced specifications, clarifications of ambiguities in the referenced specifications, and guidelines for use of the referenced specifications. A Profile does not impose constraints on that which is out of the scope of the Profile.
A key aspect of Web services is the composable nature of the specifications. WS-I Profiles are also intended to exhibit this same composable nature. They do so by defining the set of extensibility points, the extension mechanisms and parameters defined in the underlying specifications that may require out-of-band negotiation and/or agreement explicitly outside the scope of a Profile. While their use may impair interoperability, it is not subject to claims of conformance.
A Profile may place constraints on the use of extensibility points without constraining their range, so that specific uses of extensibility points may be further constrained by other Profiles to improve their interoperability when used in conjunction with the Profile.
The WS-I Basic Profile specification defines conformance of a Web service instance and its artifacts such as the messages it sends, its WSDL description and UDDI registration. The profile consists of the following set of nonproprietary Web services specifications:
- SOAP 1.1
- WSDL 1.1
- UDDI 2.0
- XML 1.0 (Second Edition)
- XML Schema Part 1: Structures
- XML Schema Part 2: Datatypes
- RFC2246: The Transport Layer Security Protocol version 1.0
- RFC2459: Internet X.509 Public Key Infrastructure Certificate and CRL Profile
- RFC2616: HyperText Transfer Protocol 1.1
- RFC2818: HTTP over TLS
- RFC2965: HTTP State Management Mechanism
- The Secure Sockets Layer Protocol version 3.0
The following list highlights some of the key constraints imposed by the Profile:
- Precludes the use of SOAP encoding
- Requires the use of HTTP binding for SOAP
- Requires the use of HTTP 500 status response for SOAP Fault messages
- Requires the use of HTTP POST method
- Requires the use of WSDL1.1 to describe the interface of a Web service
- Requires the use of RPC-literal or document-literal forms of WSDL
- Precludes the use of RPC-encoded–style WSDL
- Precludes the use of solicit-response and notification style operations
- Requires the use of WSDL SOAP binding extension with HTTP as the required transport
- Requires the use of WSDL1.1 descriptions for UDDI tModel elements representing a Web service
The WS-I Basic Profile 1.0 specification is a rather complex document. A majority of the specification is targeted at the audience of runtime platform and development tool vendors working on vendor-specific implementations of SOAP processors, WSDL parsers, code generators, and the like. You could reasonably consider the Profile to be a concerted effort by those tools and platform vendors to ensure that their respective products will either generate or host interoperable Web services instances.
However, it isn't enough that each of the major vendors adopt the Profile for their product offerings since each will likely retain support for certain features that the Profile does not sanction (such as RPC-encoded Web services) and most will offer support for features that are outside the scope of the Profile. A Web services developer or IT manager should be familiar with all of the profile specification's contents. However, certain sections of the Profile are specifically relevant to the implementation of interoperable Web services.
The following lists each substantive section of the profile specification and its relevance to a Web service practitioner.
- Section 4: Relates to SOAP and the use of HTTP binding for SOAP. As such, it is mostly of interest to those developers writing SOAP processor implementations rather than Web services developers.
- Section 5: Pertains to conformant use of WSDL, and as such should be of interest to Web services practitioners, especially those who handcraft their WSDL descriptions.
- Section 6: Pertains to Web service discovery using UDDI. This, too, should be of interest to Web services practitioners. It describes conformant approaches to registration and categorization of a Web service in a UDDI registry.
- Section 7: Relates to security of Web services using HTTP/S and should also be of interest to Web services practitioners who require security for the Web services they develop.
Scenarios, Sample Applications, and Testing Tools
The WS-I Sample Applications Working Group has developed deliverables based on the Basic Profile that a Web services practitioner will find useful.
- A mock supply-chain sample application that demonstrates most of the key features of the WS-I Basic Profile
- A Usage Scenarios specification that defines the most common design patterns for Web services and maps those scenarios to the Profile requirements that apply
The Testing Tools Working Group has delivered approval drafts of their reference testing tools for each of the major runtime platforms (Java and C#). They have also translated the constraints and requirements defined in WS-I Basic Profile 1.0 into formal test assertions that are used to configure the WS-I Testing Tools.
Web services practitioners can use the published reference testing tools to test their Web service instances, WSDL descriptions, and UDDI registrations for conformance to the Profile's requirements. IT managers can use the reports produced by the WS-I Testing Tools as a means of determining whether the Web services their developers have developed conform to the requirements of the Profile.
Future versions of the WS-I Testing Tools reports will be augmented to identify the extensibility points that are used in a Web service instance so that IT managers (and developers) can make informed decisions as to whether the solutions they develop and deploy meet the specific interoperability requirements of a given situation. If a Web service requires broad interoperability, such as might be the case with an Internet deployment of a service, they might wish to constrain the use of extensibility points to those covered by a WS-I Profile(s). Conversely, if a Web service is being deployed for use within an intranet, interoperability may not be considered as high a priority as the advanced features provided through the use of an extensibility point. IT managers can leverage the information provided by the testing tools to make an appropriate, well-informed decision based on the requirements of the given situation.
Looking Beyond WS-I Basic Profile 1.0
The WS-I Basic Profile 1.0 is, of course, just the tip of the iceberg. WS-I has already begun work on a number of follow-on profiles for Web services, including Attachments and Basic Security. Work will begin on future profiles, tackling some of the more advanced Web services features as the various specifications upon which they are based mature and stabilize and as the interoperability requirements associated with these advanced features are better understood by the community.
As WS-I releases these future profiles and their associated testing tools and sample applications deliverables, the Web services community benefits by reducing the tension induced by having to choose between the need for broad interoperability and the need for advanced functionality that is not yet broadly adopted.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Nov. 27, 2014 02:15 PM EST Reads: 485
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
Nov. 27, 2014 01:00 PM EST Reads: 1,579
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Nov. 27, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,184
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
Nov. 27, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,142
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Nov. 27, 2014 08:00 AM EST Reads: 1,130
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Nov. 27, 2014 07:45 AM EST Reads: 1,446
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Nov. 27, 2014 07:00 AM EST Reads: 1,414
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Nov. 27, 2014 06:45 AM EST Reads: 1,241
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Nov. 27, 2014 06:45 AM EST Reads: 1,320
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 1,080
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 1,140
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
Nov. 26, 2014 11:30 PM EST Reads: 1,136
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
Nov. 26, 2014 06:00 PM EST Reads: 1,127
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Nov. 26, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 1,552
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
Nov. 25, 2014 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,372
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Nov. 24, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,678
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
Nov. 24, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,567
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Nov. 24, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,703
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
Nov. 24, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,725
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
Nov. 23, 2014 07:30 PM EST Reads: 1,879