|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.
Everyone wants to use containers, but monitoring containers is hard. New ephemeral architecture introduces new challenges in how monitoring tools need to monitor and visualize containers, so your team can make sense of everything. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, David Gildeh, co-founder and CEO of Outlyer, will go through the challenges and show there is light at the end of the tunnel if you use the right tools and understand what you need to be monitoring to successfully use containers in your...
Mar. 25, 2017 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,367
What if you could build a web application that could support true web-scale traffic without having to ever provision or manage a single server? Sounds magical, and it is! In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Munns, Senior Developer Advocate for Serverless Applications at Amazon Web Services, will show how to build a serverless website that scales automatically using services like AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, and Amazon S3. We will review several frameworks that can help you build serverle...
Mar. 25, 2017 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,677
@DevOpsSummit has been named the ‘Top DevOps Influencer' by iTrend. iTrend processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @DevOpsSummit ranked as the number one ‘DevOps Influencer' followed by @CloudExpo at third, and @MicroservicesE at 24th.
Mar. 25, 2017 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 10,182
The IT industry is undergoing a significant evolution to keep up with cloud application demand. We see this happening as a mindset shift, from traditional IT teams to more well-rounded, cloud-focused job roles. The IT industry has become so cloud-minded that Gartner predicts that by 2020, this cloud shift will impact more than $1 trillion of global IT spending. This shift, however, has left some IT professionals feeling a little anxious about what lies ahead. The good news is that cloud computin...
Mar. 25, 2017 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,106
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly prov...
Mar. 25, 2017 06:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,744
After more than five years of DevOps, definitions are evolving, boundaries are expanding, ‘unicorns’ are no longer rare, enterprises are on board, and pundits are moving on. Can we now look at an evolution of DevOps? Should we? Is the foundation of DevOps ‘done’, or is there still too much left to do? What is mature, and what is still missing? What does the next 5 years of DevOps look like? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by DevOps Summit Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists l...
Mar. 25, 2017 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 9,664
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership abi...
Mar. 25, 2017 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 10,885
The essence of cloud computing is that all consumable IT resources are delivered as services. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Yung Chou, Technology Evangelist at Microsoft, demonstrated the concepts and implementations of two important cloud computing deliveries: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). He discussed from business and technical viewpoints what exactly they are, why we care, how they are different and in what ways, and the strategies for IT to transi...
Mar. 25, 2017 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 6,007
Thanks to Docker and the DevOps revolution, microservices have emerged as the new way to build and deploy applications — and there are plenty of great reasons to embrace the microservices trend. If you are going to adopt microservices, you also have to understand that microservice architectures have many moving parts. When it comes to incident management, this presents an important difference between microservices and monolithic architectures. More moving parts mean more complexity to monitor an...
Mar. 25, 2017 04:15 AM EDT Reads: 3,343
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
Mar. 25, 2017 02:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,865
Microservices (μServices) are a fascinating evolution of the Distributed Object Computing (DOC) paradigm. Initial design of DOC attempted to solve the problem of simplifying developing complex distributed applications by applying object-oriented design principles to disparate components operating across networked infrastructure. In this model, DOC “hid” the complexity of making this work from the developer regardless of the deployment architecture through the use of complex frameworks, such as C...
Mar. 25, 2017 12:15 AM EDT Reads: 4,143
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
Mar. 25, 2017 12:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,708
TechTarget storage websites are the best online information resource for news, tips and expert advice for the storage, backup and disaster recovery markets. By creating abundant, high-quality editorial content across more than 140 highly targeted technology-specific websites, TechTarget attracts and nurtures communities of technology buyers researching their companies' information technology needs. By understanding these buyers' content consumption behaviors, TechTarget creates the purchase inte...
Mar. 24, 2017 10:15 PM EDT Reads: 4,211
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore t...
Mar. 24, 2017 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,651
We've all had that feeling before: The feeling that you're missing something that everyone else is in on. For today's IT leaders, that feeling might come up when you hear talk about cloud brokers. Meanwhile, you head back into your office and deal with your ever-growing shadow IT problem. But the cloud-broker whispers and your shadow IT issues are linked. If you're wondering "what the heck is a cloud broker?" we've got you covered.
Mar. 24, 2017 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 504
In today's enterprise, digital transformation represents organizational change even more so than technology change, as customer preferences and behavior drive end-to-end transformation across lines of business as well as IT. To capitalize on the ubiquitous disruption driving this transformation, companies must be able to innovate at an increasingly rapid pace. Traditional approaches for driving innovation are now woefully inadequate for keeping up with the breadth of disruption and change facing...
Mar. 24, 2017 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 10,718
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
Mar. 24, 2017 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 7,342
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" ...
Mar. 24, 2017 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 8,548
The rise of containers and microservices has skyrocketed the rate at which new applications are moved into production environments today. While developers have been deploying containers to speed up the development processes for some time, there still remain challenges with running microservices efficiently. Most existing IT monitoring tools don’t actually maintain visibility into the containers that make up microservices. As those container applications move into production, some IT operations t...
Mar. 24, 2017 12:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,887
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
Mar. 23, 2017 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,521