W3C Completes Work on Critical Web Services Standard

WSDL 2.0 Builds on WS-I Basic Profile improvements; Expands with full HTTP and SOAP Support for Web Applications

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http://www.w3.org/ -- 27 June 2007 -- Today, W3C has finalized a Web services description language with full support of the primary protocol for the Web, HTTP, and the most frequently implemented Web services protocol, SOAP. Web Services Description Language (WSDL) 2.0 incorporates both the improvements for WSDL 1.1 found in the WS-I Basic Profile, and builds in inheritance, import functions, improved description of faults and errors, and full HTTP and SOAP support. Rigorous testing and interop sessions, including week-long programming marathons by the Web Services Description Working Group itself, have produced a solid interoperable standard that delivers on the goals of the initial WSDL 1.1 version, and also meets the needs of Web applications developers today.

"It's been a long time in development, but developers can see it's been worth the wait," explained Jonathan Marsh, co-chair of the W3C Web Services Description Working Group and Director of Mashup Technologies at WSO2. "In addition to the rigorous interoperability testing, we're pleased to have given developers the HTTP binding, which provides simple Web-friendly access to a service when the advanced features available in the SOAP stack, such as WS-Addressing, WS-Security, and WS-ReliableMessaging, aren't required."

WSDL 2.0 Development Began with Stringent Interoperability Requirements, Finished with Conversion Tools and Support in Emerging Web Standards

Wide interest in SOAP 1.1 and WSDL 1.1 marked the beginning of Web Services pursuits. The hope of interoperability in the initial, non-standardized versions was not immediately fulfilled in spite of the large number of developers who moved to that model for applications development. WS-I, for example, formed to create profiles based on non-standard versions of the popular Web Services technologies.

Against this backdrop, the W3C Membership urged the Consortium to develop an interoperable WSDL standard. Through significant issue tracking by the Working Group itself, and through cooperative work with the WS-I Basic Profile Working Group, it was possible to identify initial improvements and build from there for both SOAP 1.2 and WSDL 2.0.

Those who have built implementations that conform to the WS-I Basic Profile may use a converter to WSDL 2.0, thus easing the transition to the new standard and enabling use of new features.

Further, WSDL 2.0 support is built into critical emerging Web services standards, including Semantic Annotations for WSDL (SAWSDL) and WS-Policy 1.5, both anticipated in September 2007.

WSDL 2.0 Lets Developers Choose WS Application Development Models; HTTP or SOAP

With the increased popularity of REST-model as well as SOAP over HTTP, the Working Group recognized the clear need for complete HTTP support in Web application descriptions. As a result, WSDL 2.0 has complete HTTP and SOAP support, making it useful for both simple Web applications and Web Services applications that require additional functionality.

WSDL 2.0 Created and Implemented by Industry Leaders; Wide Deployment Anticipated

The Web Services Description Working Group has enjoyed the participation of many industry leaders in the area of applications development and is co-chaired by Marsh and Tony Rogers of CA. Current participants in the WSD Working Group are, in alphabetical order, Adobe Systems Inc.; Agfa-Gevaert N. V.; BEA Systems, Inc.; BT; CA; Canon, Inc.; IBM; University of Innsbruck; IONA Technologies, Inc.; Maryland Information and Network Dynamics Lab at the University of Maryland; Microsoft Corporation; Oracle Corporation; Rogue Wave Software; SAP AG; Sonic Software; Sun Microsystems, Inc.; TIBCO Software, Inc.; WSO2; and Xerox Corporation.

Many companies have stated that they expect to support WSDL 2.0 in upcoming product releases, including Adobe Systems Inc.; CA; IBM; Sun Microsystems, Inc; webMethods; and WSO2. Details on support and implementation plans are provided in the testimonial sheet.

About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. W3C primarily pursues its mission through the creation of Web standards and guidelines designed to ensure long-term growth for the Web. Over 400 organizations are Members of the Consortium. W3C is jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France and Keio University in Japan,and has additional Offices worldwide. For more information see http://www.w3.org/