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Proposed Web Services Addressing and Referencing Framework WG

Web Services Addressing and Referencing Framework

An Open Letter to the W3C AC Forum from Eleven AC Representatives

From:      Jeff Mischkinsky <> 
Date:      Wed, 02 Jun 2004 10:35:22 -0700
Subject:   Moving forward on addressing and referencing in the W3C
To:        W3C Advisory Committee Forum <> 

An open letter to the W3C AC Forum from the AC reps:

There has been lots of informal discussion of how to bring about industry convergence in the area of Web Service Referencing and Addressing. We all know that there are two major specifications "out there": WS-MessageDelivery [2], published by the W3C as a Member Submission, and two public versions of WS-Addressing. WS-MessageDelivery can be found at [2] and the latest version of WS-Addressing can be found at [3].

We believe the time as come to have an open and honest debate within the Advisory Committee to see if there is a way to charter a Working Group which would have the participation of the entire web service community. The benefits to the Web services user community of a successful outcome which results in a widely adopted open standard are obvious. What is not obvious is how to get there from here.

We float the following (WS-)strawman in the spirit of cooperation. We view it as a means to "test the waters" to see if there is the reasonable possibility of convergence within the Advisory Committee as to desirability of starting this work within the W3C community — now, and under these or similar conditions.

Our purpose is to kick off a discussion within the Advisory Committee with the aim of expeditiously starting a WG. We believe that the requirements are clear and that substantial contributions exist. With industry recognition of these elements, and contribution of their use, it is apparent that reasonable convergence should be feasible now. Given the background and history, we believe that two weeks should be sufficient to determine if this will happen, e.g., a draft charter which has consensus support.

This proposal focuses on the essential points of such a charter. It does not have all the common W3C charter boilerplate and language about schedules, etc. We believe that if there is general agreement about these essential points, the rest of the Charter will fall into place.

We describe and suggest words for the Purpose, Scope and Goals, Input, Deliverables and Related Activities of such a Working Group.

For the purposes of this discussion we chose a neutral name for the working group, the Web Services Addressing and Referencing Framework WG. (WS-ARF)

We welcome debate and comments, either publicly or privately.

Possible DRAFT CHARTER, 20040601

Web Services Addressing and Referencing Framework WG

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of this WG is to define extensible and reusable mechanisms to reference Web Services, to allow such Web service references to be passed in messages, and to support WSDL Messsage Exchange Patterns.

The specification must support the MEPs in WSDL 1.1, the MEPs anticipated in WSDL 2.0 if it is sufficiently progressed, and may define support for other useful MEPS such as basic callback [1].


The ability to identify participants in a Web service message exchange is fundamental to the dynamic and ever changing world of on-line business. WSDL provides mechanisms to define and describe the server side of an interaction (i.e., where to send a one way or a request messages to), but there are no standardized mechanisms to identify other delivery destinations that may exist in a message exchange pattern, such as a reply-to destination.

The following points constitute the requirements and scope for the output of this WG:

  1. A way to reference Web services (stateful or stateless), and other delivery destinations that participate in an MEP, in a way that enables those references to be passed around.

  2. Definition of abstract properties to identify recipients, senders, messages, reply-to, fault destinations, message correlation(s) between messages etc, in order to support MEPs as defined in WSDL 1.1 and anticipated for WSDL 2.0.

  3. Definition of bindings for SOAP 1.1 and 1.2, by mapping the abstract properties to SOAP 1.1 and SOAP 1.2 header blocks, including the normative use of the SOAP header blocks for each MEP

  4. Definition of callback pattern(s) and header blocks used to support point-to-point asynchronous communication. Other MEPs may also be considered

  5. Given a Web service reference, define normative mechanisms to obtain the service's WSDL description, referenced documents and related metadata. For example, WSDL 2.0 contains a wsdli:wsdlLocation attribute although its usage is undefined. Rules for its use and a similar mechanism for WSDL 1.1 could be defined.

  6. Discussion of non-normative scenarios and use cases describing possible ways to compose and use the specifications to be defined by the WG with other ongoing work, e.g., WS-RF, WS-Context, WSDM, etc.


  • A WS-Addressing and Referencing Framework Recommendation

  • A primer introducing the above specification, including use cases and scenarios as appropriate as described in 6. above.


[We realize that this is one major contentious issues and in the spirit of compromise propose the following.]

The primary input to this WG will be the WS-Addressing [3] Member Submission published on <fill in date once it has been submitted>. Other contributions, including the W3C Member Submission WS-MessageDelivery [2] published on 26th April 2004, shall also be accepted, provided they conform to the goals and scope of this Charter.

The WG shall use these inputs without prejudice or restriction and evaluate them on their technical merit,in its deliberations to create deliverables which satisfy the Charter requirements.

Related Activities

The WG will collaborate with W3C efforts within the Web Service Activity including WSD, XMLP, WS-Chor as appropriate. The WG will collaborate with relevant OASIS TCs such as WS-RF, WS-N, WS-CAF, WS-BPEL, ASAP as appropriate.


[1] WS-I Usage Scenarios, Version 1.01, December 2003.

[2] WS-MessageDelivery, Version 1.0, 26 April 2004.

[3] WS-Addressing, March 30, 2004

Jeff Mischkinsky            
Consulting Member Technical Staff     +1(650)506-1975
Director, Web Services Standards      500 Oracle Parkway M/S 4OP9
Oracle Corporation                    Redwood Shores, CA 94065


Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See other references in the news story "Proposed Technical Specification for Web Services Addressing and Referencing Framework."

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