World Wide Web Consortium Publishes First Public Working Draft of Web Services Description Language (WSDL) 1.2

W3C Produces Open Web Services Vocabulary with Improved XML Interoperability

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http://www.w3.org/ -- 9 July 2002 -- The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has issued Web Services Description Language (WSDL) 1.2 and WSDL 1.2 Bindings as W3C Public Working Drafts. WSDL 1.2 is an XML-based language that describes a Web Service - the data exchanged, the protocol to use, and its location on the Web. WSDL 1.2 Bindings describes how to use WSDL1.2 with SOAP 1.2, HTTP, and MIME. These are the first in the series of WSDL 1.2 drafts; W3C invites the Web development community to review and comment on these and subsequent versions.

W3C's Web Services Activity Works on Architecture and Components, Including WSDL 1.2

W3C has been at work developing an architecture for Web Services which takes into account the needs of users as well as technology vendors, pursuing the development of open standardized components for Web Services, as it has done for HTML, the XML family of technologies, Scalable Vector Graphics, and Voice-Web technologies. " 'Web Services' begin with the Web," remarked W3C Web Services Activity Lead, Hugo Haas. "W3C's success depends on the commitment to Web architectural principles of extensibility, openness and interoperability. "

The W3C Web Services Activity currently consists of three Royalty-Free Working Groups whose focus is to develop an open, interoperable and extensible model for Web Services (Web Services Architecture Working Group), as well as critical components, such as an XML-based protocol for data to be exchanged and processed by applications (XML Protocol Working Group, developing SOAP 1.2), and technologies for providing descriptions of Web Services (Web Services Description Working Group). Each W3C Web Services Working Group is chartered to conduct its technical work in public, with discussion lists, meeting reports, and drafts of work in progress.

WSDL 1.2 Provides Improved Interoperability, Better Component Definition

Many developers and IT managers learned about WSDL as a specification created by individual companies. After WSDL 1.1 was published as an informational document at W3C, companies and developers expressed interest in W3C pursuing the development of a Web services description language that could be based on WSDL 1.1, but would be subject to the W3C Process and technical requirements, such as support for W3C Recommendations, and coordination with other W3C technical Activities. Others were interested in seeing Web Services components developed with a mandate for Royalty-Free technologies.

As a result, the W3C Web Services Description Working Group was chartered to make an open, stable Web Services Description Language, based in part on Requirements and Usage Scenarios set by the full group. Today's publication includes better component definition, which was the result of having open participation in the framing of requirements and review of WSDL 1.1, and the Working Group requirements for an unencumbered specification.

WSDL 1.2 provides improvements over WSDL 1.1 in distinct ways.

Upcoming Plans Include Mapping to Semantic Web Foundations, Outside Coordination

The W3C Web Services Description Working Group, as one of over thirty W3C Working Groups, must ensure that their work results in a specification that interoperates cleanly with existing W3C work, including that of both the XML and Semantic Web Activities. For the XML Activity, the Web Services Description Working Group continues to track the evolution of the XML Family of specifications. For the Semantic Web Activity, the Working Group is chartered to cooperate with the Resource Description Framework (RDF) Interest Group to produce a mapping of WSDL 1.2 to RDF, the language which provides interoperability between applications that exchange machine-understandable information - the foundation for the Semantic Web.

Like other W3C Web Services Working Groups, the Web Services Description Working Group is also expected to establish coordination with outside organizations, including the Global Grid Forum and the Object Management Group.

Over Thirty W3C Members and Invited Experts Involved in WSDL 1.2

To ensure that a Web services description language meets the needs of diverse users, W3C relies on the diversity of its Membership and of the wider Web developer community. Together, they have contributed in providing a variety of use cases and practical examples of the problems end users would like to have solved, and in the resulting drafts.

The participants include AT&T; Canon; Cisco Systems; Citigroup; Computer Associates; Cyclone Commerce; DaimlerChrysler Research and Technology; L'Échangeur; Electronic Data Systems; Global Grid Forum; W.W. Grainger; Hewlett-Packard Company; Intel Corporation; IONA Technologies; IBM; Lexmark; Macromedia; University of Maryland; Microsoft Corporation; Nokia; Oracle Corporation; Rogue Wave Software; SAP; Software AG; Sun Microsystems; Systinet; TIBCO Software; Verisign; webMethods, Inc.; Xerox; as well as the many contributors to the W3C Web Services Description public mailing list.

More progress is also expected on Usage Scenarios and Requirements.

About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]

The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability. It is an international industry consortium jointly run by the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science (MIT LCS) in the USA, the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA) in France and Keio University in Japan. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository of information about the World Wide Web for developers and users, and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new technology. To date, nearly 500 organizations are Members of the Consortium. For more information see http://www.w3.org/