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WS-ReliableMessaging and WS-Addressing

Microsoft, IBM, BEA and TIBCO Announce Reliable Messaging Specifications

Publication of WS-ReliableMessaging and WS-Addressing Signifies Milestone In Development of Web Services Architecture

Redmond, WA; Armonk, N.Y.; San Jose, CA., and Palo Alto, CA, USA. March 13, 2003.

[Update 2007-05]

[March 13, 2003] Microsoft Corp., IBM Corp., BEA Systems Inc., and TIBCO Software Inc. today announced the publication of two new specifications to enable organizations to build reliable and interoperable Web services applications. The new specifications, WS-ReliableMessaging and WS-Addressing, along with a high-level road map authored by IBM and Microsoft titled "Reliable Message Delivery in a Web Services World: A Proposed Architecture and Roadmap," describe a common architecture comprising the necessary protocols, message formats and interfaces to enable reliable message delivery for Web services.

Introducing WS-ReliableMessaging and WS-Addressing

The ability to ensure the delivery of a message is a critical component of Web services. By proposing a standard mechanism for exchanging secure, reliable messages in a Web services environment, organizations will no longer be faced with the need to develop costly, ad hoc solutions that are unable to interoperate across platforms to address reliability. The following specifications define protocols that are independent of the underlying transport layer. Each specification defines a SOAP binding for interoperability across platforms.

WS-ReliableMessaging. WS-ReliableMessaging, published by IBM, Microsoft, BEA and TIBCO, provides the necessary protocol for ensuring that unreceived and duplicate messages can be detected, and received messages can be processed in the order in which they were sent. Messages can be exchanged with varying levels of delivery assurances including at most once, at least once or exactly once, as well as in order.

WS-Addressing. WS-Addressing, published by IBM, Microsoft and BEA, provides mechanisms to identify and exchange references to Web services end points. In addition, it defines a set of commonly used message information headers. Together, these elements enable transport-neutral, bidirectional, synchronous, asynchronous and stateful service interactions across networks that include the likes of end point managers, firewalls and gateways.

The Architecture for Reliable Messaging Delivery

In addition to the newly published specifications, IBM and Microsoft are publishing a white paper to provide a high-level overview and road map for reliable Web services communications. Titled "Reliable Message Delivery in a Web Services World: A Proposed Architecture and Roadmap," the white paper employs a common scenario with examples of real-world applications to identify key requirements that must be addressed in the advanced Web services architecture. It also introduces the core reliable messaging protocol and positions it with other Web services specifications such as the WS-Policy and WS-Security families that are required to provide a complete solution. In addition, the white paper identifies other messaging requirements to increase the number of customer scenarios supported, such as flow control and metadata exchange.

About IBM

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. IBM software offers the widest range of infrastructure software for all types of computing platforms, allowing customers to take full advantage of the new era of e-business. The fastest way to get more information about IBM software is through the IBM home page at

About BEA

BEA Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BEAS) is the world's leading application infrastructure software company, providing the enterprise software foundation for 13,000 customers around the world, including the majority of the Fortune Global 500. BEA and its WebLogic brand are among the most trusted names in business. Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., BEA has 81 offices in 34 countries and is on the Web at

About TIBCO Software

TIBCO Software Inc. (Nasdaq: TIBX) is the leading independent business integration software company in the world, demonstrated by market share and analyst reports. In addition, TIBCO is a leading enabler of real-time business, helping companies become more cost-effective, more agile and more efficient. TIBCO has delivered the value of real-time business, what TIBCO calls The Power of Now (TM) , to over 1,900 customers around the world and in a wide variety of industries. For more information on TIBCO's proven business integration, business optimization, and enterprise backbone solutions, TIBCO can be reached at (650) 846-1000 or on the Web at TIBCO is headquartered in Palo Alto, California.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device.

For more information about the white paper:

See "Reliable Message Delivery in a Web Services World: A Proposed Architecture and Roadmap" at:


Update 2007-05-15: WS-ReliableMessaging Version 1.1 was submitted for ballot as an OASIS Standard in May 2007. Four years in development, WS-RM has three parts. The core "WS-ReliableMessaging V1.1" document defines a protocol for reliable message exchange even in the presence of network/system failures. The protocol allows Web service nodes to implement a variety of delivery assurances, including 'At Most Once', 'At Least Once', 'Exactly Once', and 'In Order' delivery of messages. "WS-ReliableMessaging Policy 1.1" defines an XML policy language that enables Web services to advertise their support for the WS-ReliableMessaging specification; it is is designed for use with the WS-Policy Framework. "WS-MakeConnection" defines a protocol for two-way communication when only a transport specific back-channel is available. See "WS-ReliableMessaging Version 1.1 Submitted for Ballot as an OASIS Standard."

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See: (1) "Reliable Messaging"; (2) "Web Services Addressing (WS-Addressing)."

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