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   [The 4 Waves of Web Services Standards] Re: [xml-dev] WS-Emperor naked?

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Bob Wyman wrote:
> The list omits WS-Events and WS-Eventing which are "competitors"
> to WS-Notification. (Note: I think WS-Eventing may have been dropped,
> but WS-Events still appears to live.)
>         The whole Web Services space is one that is based more on hope
> than any real evidence of success. 

I agree that it is quite easy and tempting to consider Web Services as
being represented by a single "block" of standards, but I believe it is
more useful to think of it in various "waves" (or phases), and to talk
about the success or failure of those waves. I assert that there are
current 4 "Web Services Waves" in sight - one of which is already behind
us (but still ongoing for future enhancements), and one of which we're
in the midst of now. These are:

(1) Core Specifications

- Your basic SOAP and WSDL, whose early versions are mature and
ubiquitous, and whose specification is still ongoing; 

- We have completed the initial "phase" of this Wave;

(2) Advanced Specifications

- These include security, identity management, reliable messaging,
choreography, business process, and others; 

- We are well into this Wave;

- For standards that define interactions between Web Services (such as
choreography and business process), most of the interactions between Web
Services *in practice* will be static rather than dynamic, even though
the specifications address dynamic composability and interaction;

(3) Semantic Wave

- This (of course) includes the various semantic technologies (OWL, RDF,
etc.) and their application to Web Services (OWL-S);

- We are in the early stages of this Wave (so there is overlap with Wave

- For standards that define interactions between Web Services (see Wave
#2), we will also begin to see more usage of dynamic capabilities due to
the capabilities that Semantic Web Services will provide;

(4) Advanced Semantic Wave

- In this Wave, standards described in Wave #2 will take on semantic
capabilities, and we will see unprecendented interactions between Web
Services, more richly enhanced security capabilities, and many other

- We have not yet begun this stage;


Kind Regards,
Joe Chiusano
Booz | Allen | Hamilton
Strategy and Technology Consultants to the World

> There are dozens of companies that
> have
> invested heavily in this space and thousands of individuals who have
> tied
> their hopes to the idea of Web Services. The mere fact that nothing
> useful
> seems to be coming out of the expenditure of all this energy doesn't
> seem
> to have dimmed the desire to make it happen.
>         But, the basic ideas behind Web Services are really great!
> Distributed applications are, in fact, a really wonderful idea. They
> were
> back when we first started implementing them seriously back in the early
> 80's and they still are today. The idea of having standard interchange
> formats and describing your interfaces with formal definition languages
> like WSDL is also a good one that has been well proven over time. ASN.1,
> CORBA IDL, many RPC interfaces, XML, and, of course, lots of IETF and
> standards have validated these ideas. We should also be particularly
> supportive of the attention that the WS-* folk give to reuse of
> standards.
> The mere fact that they seem to insist on defining new standards before
> they are willing to reuse them should not take away from our
> appreciation
> of their appreciation of reuse as a concept.
>         Finally, it should be noted that the really great thing about the
> WS space is that it is *really* easy to put together a working group and
> get your very own personal WS-* specification written and announced as a
> standard. The traditional standards forums (ISO, IETF, etc.) are much
> more
> difficult to work through and result in much greater sharing of the
> credit
> than is typical of the groups that get WS-* stuff written up. The other
> thing that is nice about WS-* stuff is that since there aren't many
> working examples of the stuff, it is really easy to present one's self
> as
> an "expert" without having to deal with the embarrasment of failed or
> competitive implementations. (If a standard is never deployed, noone can
> *really* say if it is any good...) All of these factors and others tend
> to
> produce an environment which is very attractive to individuals and
> companies who seek to feel like they are leaders on the bleeding edge.
> There are few areas in our business today that can offer so much
> personal
> reward and so much press coverage in return for so little useful output.
>                 bob wyman

Kind Regards,
Joseph Chiusano
Booz | Allen | Hamilton


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