IBM will send its new protocol, which offers the reliable delivery of HTTP packets between the server and the client, to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) for certification.
The internet transfer protocol HTTPR (Reliable HTTP) provides reliable messaging on the web. The proposed specification was made available to the public at IBM's developerWorks site in late July.
IBM researcher Stephen Todd said that HTTPR addresses deficiencies in the delivery of messages by proposing rules that make it possible to ensure that all messages are delivered to their destination in their exact form and only once.
"In cases where the message delivery fails, the protocol will reliably report the message as undeliverable," he said.
Big Blue explained that the plan to have the standard ratified by the IETF is timely as enterprises are beginning to adopt web services. In a statement, IBM said: "Having an open standard to guarantee reliable web messaging will stimulate interoperability between the available messaging middleware products, web services applications and new pervasive devices."
IBM also said that reliable message support is not a new technology, as messaging middleware products such as the IBM MQSeries, Oracle Message Broker and Microsoft Message queuing have supported it for years and the products are widely deployed in enterprise environments.
The HTTPR specification does not include the design of a messaging agent, not does it determine what storage mechanisms should be used by the messaging agent. It does, however, specify the state information needs to be in to be stored safely, and when to store it so that a messaging agent can provide reliable delivery using HTTPR.
According to IBM, synchronous transport protocols such as HTTP do not offer reliable messaging. Big Blue said that HTTPR will also enhance a company's ability to offer web services.
Details about HTTPR can be found at IBM's developerWorks site.
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