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New Specifications: Grid and Web Services Standards to Converge

Grid and Web Services Standards to Converge

New Specifications Will Ease Development and Deployment of Web Services

San Francisco, California, USA. January 20, 2004.

Akamai, The Globus Alliance, HP, IBM, Sonic Software, and TIBCO today proposed new Web services specifications that will integrate Grid and Web services standards. The new WS-Notification and WS-Resource Framework represent the first time a common, standards-based infrastructure will be available for business applications, Grid resources and systems management. These new specifications will help customers lower costs, speed deployment and enable integration across and outside of the enterprise.

"These new Web services specifications will significantly extend the types of enterprise solutions customers can easily deploy," said Karla Norsworthy, Director of Dynamic e-Business Technologies, IBM. "These new specifications are important for key business applications and provide customers with the ability to utilize a common Web services based infrastructure that support of Grid and management based solutions."

"Web services technology is a key enabler of the Adaptive Enterprise, where business processes and IT are synchronized to capitalize on change. Customers want information technology to behave as a highly efficient, flexible service that can quickly accommodate change in real time," said Al Smith, chief technology officer, Management Software Organization, HP. "The flexibility of an open, standards-based approach is the only way to bring together heterogeneous resources into an effective, manageable IT environment."

The WS-Notification specification and the WS-Resource Framework will provide a scalable pub/sub messaging model and the ability to model stateful resources using Web services. Stateful resources are elements that can be modeled including physical entities (such as servers) to logical constructs (such as business agreements and contracts). Access to these stateful resources enables customers to realize business efficiencies including just in time procurement with multiple suppliers, systems outage detection and recovery and Grid-based workload balancing.

WS-Notification can automatically trigger an action in the IT infrastructure once certain criteria have been met. This can include suppliers automatically being notified to bid to replenish inventory once current inventory drops to a set level. Several suppliers can be notified of this depletion in inventory and WS-Notification can be set up so that only the supplier with the best bid fills the order. The authors of WS-Notification include Akamai, The Globus Alliance, HP, IBM, SAP, Sonic Software, and TIBCO.

"To date, Web Services standards have primarily addressed companies' requirements around definition and management of services. WS-Notification proposes to also specify an agreed upon definition for events," said Derek Collison, vice president of Products and Technologies for TIBCO Software. "Events are what bring a service-oriented architecture to life and a standardized definition for events will accelerate delivery of real-time business to more companies at lower cost."

The WS-Resource Framework includes:

  • Modeling Stateful Resources with Web Services. A white paper describing how to utilize the related specifications to model the resources in the context of Web services.

  • WS-Resource Properties defines how data associated with a stateful resource can be queried and changed using Web services technologies. This allows clients to build applications to efficiently read and update data associated with resources, such as contracts, servers or purchase orders.

  • WS-Resource Lifetime, which allows the user to specify the period during which a resource definition is valid. For example, WS Resource Lifetime can automatically update suppliers from all systems once contracts or service level agreements expire, or deleting products from inventory systems that are no longer being manufactured.

The authors of the new framework include The Globus Alliance, HP and IBM.

"Sonic Software is pleased to be part of the effort to standardize these critical elements of enterprise infrastructure," said Gordon Van Huizen, CTO for Sonic Software. "Scalable, distributed messaging has always been at the heart of an enterprise service bus (ESB), allowing resilient, flexible connectivity and interaction between applications, data sources and business partners. WS-Notification and the WS-Resource Framework promise to speed the adoption of ESBs by offering rich interoperability across enterprise middleware, while supporting a unified, service-oriented fabric for application integration, data access and resource management."

"The Globus Alliance is enthusiastic about this latest step in harmonizing Grid services and Web services," said Ian Foster, Argonne National Laboratory associate division director for Mathematics and Computer Science and University of Chicago professor of computer science. "WS-Resource Framework will add clear value for users of the Globus Toolkit and will hasten acceptance of the open standards that are key to the Grid's broad adoption for e-Science and e-Business."

"Akamai is excited to collaborate with these new specifications that significantly advance the Open Services Grid Architecture," said Chris Schoettle, Executive Vice President, Technology, Networks & Support, at Akamai. "This effort addresses the growing need for on demand applications that are the underpinning of a resilient, scalable and efficient e-business infrastructure. Akamai's globally distributed computing platform is enabling enterprises to realize new business efficiencies through Web Services and the OSGA."

This family of new specifications provides a foundation for the Open Grid Services Architecture. Using WS-Resource Framework and WS-Notification, Grid infrastructures and applications can now be built using Web services specifications. This will facilitate customers' ability to access and share computing resources on demand over the Internet, relying on an infrastructure that is resilient, self-managing and always available. Customers can integrate applications and share data and processing power with huge potential cost and efficiency savings.

These specifications provide customers with the ability to share infrastructure across emerging business applications, systems management and grid computing.


Ron Favali
Tel: +1 914 766 4776

Sherri Stuart
Tel: +1 856 638 6249

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See other details and references in the news story "Web Services Notification and Web Services Resource Framework."

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