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W3C Publishes Web Services Policy 1.5

Group devises a more flexible method of handling policy changes for Web services and service-oriented architectures.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) published its Web Services Policy 1.5 Framework recommendation, which lays out a blueprint for creating extensions to a Web service. The objective of the Framework is to make life easier for developers, especially in terms of enabling security and messaging.

The Framework specifies a more modular approach to enforcing Web services policy, using XML code that operates at the domain level. Policy changes can be made "without disruption or requiring changes to lower level service descriptions," according to an announcement issued by the W3C.

Under the Framework, the service's policy can contain "policy alternatives," which in turn contain "policy assertions." A snippet of code with multiple policy assertions is shown in the W3C's recommendation (Example 1-1).

The spec's security assertions were tested by some of the companies in the W3C's Web Services Policy Working Group. The spec was also reviewed by some of OASIS' Web Services Technical Committees, including UDDI, WS-RX, WS-TX and WS-SX.

The Web Services Policy 1.5 spec was also coordinated with the W3C's WS-Addressing Working Group, which released its own recommendation on metadata addressing, which is called "Web Services Addressing 1.0."

Companies in the W3C's Web Services Policy Working Group expressed support for the Web Serves Policy 1.5 Framework in their testimonials, with some suggesting that their companies' products will utilize the spec.

The Framework will lead to "compatibility" improvements in the Web services realm, according to Don Deutsch, Oracle's vice president of standards strategy and architecture.

"By allowing interactions between Web components to be tailored at runtime based on declarative specifications, WS-Policy promotes flexibility and enhances compatibility," Deutsch stated.

The spec will also improve operations for service-oriented architectures (SOAs), according to David Orchard, BEA Systems' senior technical director.

"A key aspect of Service Oriented Architecture deployments is the description of the services, and WS-Policy can enhance service description and can represent a crucial building block for SOA and other related initiatives such as Service Component Architecture (SCA)," Orchard stated.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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