Microsoft Previews Global XML Web Services Architecture

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 23, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today presented an architecture for the next generation of XML Web services and published four specifications supporting that architecture. The Global XML Web Services Architecture provides a set of principles and guidelines for advancing the protocols and file formats of today’s XML Web services to more complex and sophisticated tasks. The four specifications — WS-Security, WS-License,
WS-Routing and WS-Referral — build on XML Web services technologies such as SOAP, extending them for global-class computing. As with previous XML Web services specifications, these four will be available for a review period and then submitted to appropriate standards bodies.

“These specifications are a critical and important next step in the evolution of XML Web Services,”
said Doug Cavit, vice president and chief information officer of
“ is committed to making these specifications an integral part of our next-generation XML Web services.”

The Global XML Web Services Architecture

As XML Web services evolve and become more sophisticated, XML Web services require additional capabilities that allow for scenarios involving multiple applications at multiple companies. The Global XML Web Services Architecture defines principles that enable future specifications to work well with each other. The four main principles call for the specifications to be the following:

  • Modular. The Global XML Web Services Architecture uses the extensibility of the SOAP specification to deliver a set of composable modules that can be combined as needed to deliver end-to-end capabilities. As new capabilities are required, new modular elements can be created.

  • General purpose. The Global XML Web Services Architecture is designed for a wide range of XML Web services scenarios, ranging from B2B and EAI solutions to peer-to-peer applications and B2C services.

  • Federated. The Global XML Web Services Architecture is fully distributed and designed to support XML Web services that cross organizational and trust boundaries and requires no centralized servers or administrative functions.

  • Standards based. As with previous XML Web services specifications, The Global XML Web Services Architecture protocols will be submitted to appropriate standards bodies and Microsoft will work with interested parties to complete their standardization.

“We welcome the direction Microsoft has taken in releasing these specifications,”
said Jamie Jones, vice president of Global Web Services at Credit Suisse First Boston.
“It shows its commitment to XML Web services and to the standards process.”

Explaining the Four Protocols

The four specifications announced today provide standard ways to implement and enhance two key XML Web services capabilities — security and routing — enabling companies to develop mission-critical XML Web services more quickly and cost effectively. These specifications adhere to the road map outlined by Microsoft and IBM Corp. at the W3C Web Services Workshop in April 2001 and represent a first step toward a comprehensive Global XML Web Services Architecture.

The security specifications are WS-Security, which outlines how to use the W3C specifications XML Signature and XML Encryption, and WS-License, which, along with

WS-Security, outlines how existing digital credentials and their associated trust semantics can be securely associated with SOAP messages.

The routing specifications are WS-Routing (formerly SOAP-RP), which describes how to place message addresses in the SOAP message header and enables SOAP messages to travel serially to multiple destinations along a message path, and WS-Referral, which enables the routing between SOAP nodes on a message path to be dynamically configured.

Each of these specifications provides extension and composition mechanisms that enable future specifications to be incorporated into a complete solution. They are available for download from MSDN® developer Web site at .

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