AT&T, Cisco Systems, Sabre and others have joined an industry effort to promote interoperability among web services across platforms, applications and programming languages.
The Web Services Interoperability Organisation (WS-I) said it has gained 50 members, which brings its total membership to more than 100 companies. Industry heavyweights IBM, Microsoft, Intel, Hewlett-Packard and SAP AG are among the founders.
Web services is a platform and language independent means of building distributed systems, based on industry standards that can connect and interact with one another easily and reliably across the internet.
Anthony Roby, WS-I board member and working group chair, said in a statement: "The enormous interest we've received from such a broad base of industry leaders demonstrates the importance of WS-I's mission and the emphasis companies are placing on web services interoperability."
Roby also said the group has aligned around a common definition of web services based on open industry standards, and is now focused on delivering the tools and guidance to create interoperable web services.
WS-I has set up three initial working groups - the Basic Web Services Profile Working Group, the Sample Applications Working Group and the Test Materials and Tools Development Working Group, which will develop a basic profile for how the standards and protocols, such as SOAP, UDDI and XML, should work together.
The working groups will also develop sample applications as a model and create testing materials and tools for companies developing web services.
WS-I will deliver a set of tools for web services testing and implementation, as well as a road map that outlines its web services direction.
Other new members include Hitachi, Unisys, Corel and SilverStream Software. Yetone company, Sun Microsystems, has been conspicuously absent. Reportedly, this is because of the WS-I's refusal to allow Sun to join the organisation's board.
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