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Last modified: March 01, 2007
XML Daily Newslink. Thursday, 01 March 2007

A Cover Pages Publication
Provided by OASIS and Sponsor Members
Edited by Robin Cover

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:
BEA Systems, Inc.

WS-BPEL Version 2.0 Submitted for Approval as an OASIS Standard
Staff, OASIS Announcement

Members of the OASIS Web Services Business Process Execution Language (WSBPEL) Technical Committee have submitted an approved Committee Specification of "Web Services Business Process Execution Language Version 2.0" to be considered as an OASIS Standard. WS-BPEL is an XML based language enabling users to describe business process activities as Web services and define how they can be connected to accomplish specific tasks. WS-BPEL is designed to specify business processes that are both composed of, and exposed as, Web Services. Business processes can be described in two ways. Executable business processes model actual behavior of a participant in a business interaction. Abstract business processes are partially specified processes that are not intended to be executed. An Abstract Process may hide some of the required concrete operational details. Abstract Processes serve a descriptive role, with more than one possible use case, including observable behavior and process template. WS-BPEL is meant to be used to model the behavior of both Executable and Abstract Processes. WS-BPEL provides a language for the specification of Executable and Abstract business processes. By doing so, it extends the Web Services interaction model and enables it to support business transactions. WS-BPEL defines an interoperable integration model that should facilitate the expansion of automated process integration in both the intra-corporate and the business-to-business spaces. WS-BPEL defines a model and a grammar for describing the behavior of a business process based on interactions between the process and its partners. The interaction with each partner occurs through Web Service interfaces, and the structure of the relationship at the interface level is encapsulated in what is called a partnerLink. The WS-BPEL process defines how multiple service interactions with these partners are coordinated to achieve a business goal, as well as the state and the logic necessary for this coordination. WS-BPEL also introduces systematic mechanisms for dealing with business exceptions and processing faults. Moreover, WS-BPEL introduces a mechanism to define how individual or composite activities within a unit of work are to be compensated in cases where exceptions occur or a partner requests reversal.

See also: the announcement

Burton: Beyond BPEL Orchestration, SOA Needs Choreography
Rich Seeley,

Right now developers working on complex service-oriented architecture implementations face a Hobson's choice between an existing standard that doesn't meet their needs and an emerging standard that they can't use yet, according to a Burton Group report released this week. Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) is the standard developers must use for Web services orchestration, but it is a limited standard and will eventually be subordinated to Web Services Choreography Description Language (WS-CDL), argues Chris Howard, the Burton vice president who authored the report. For the process execution component of business process management (BPM), he notes that BPEL has vendor support in tooling for Web services orchestration. But one of the limitations he mentions is that even in the updated BPEL 2.0 standard, which is expected to be finalized by OASIS this summer, "it still performs orchestration from the perspective of a single service." Key to Howard's argument is the distinction he draws between orchestration, where BPEL plays a key role today, and choreography, where WS-CDL will play the lead in the future. In Howard's view, choreography would encompass the orchestration of sub-processes within the overall system. Despite its limitations, Howard sees BPEL with its vendor tools support continuing to play a role in SOA development. Eventually, however, BPEL sub-processes will play a subordinate role in the larger choreography and WS-CDL with vendor support will be the big picture standard.

See also: Messaging and Transaction Coordination

Berners-Lee: Congress Should Consider Net Neutrality
Grant Gross, InfoWorld

Timothy Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, advocated that the U.S. Congress protect net neutrality and questioned the value of DRM (Digital Rights Management). Berners-Lee, speaking before the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet in the U.S. House of Representatives, said it was "very, very important" for lawmakers to protect the ability of users to access the Web content they want regardless of their ISP. Berners-Lee didn't endorse specific net neutrality proposals largely supported by congressional Democrats, but he said the Web as a communications medium deserves "special treatment" to protect its nondiscriminatory approach to content. For the past two years, many e-commerce companies and consumer groups have called on Congress to pass a law prohibiting broadband carriers from blocking or slowing Web content from competitors or from speeding up partners' content. In mid-2005, the U.S. Supreme Court and the Federal Communications Commission freed broadband providers from nondiscriminatory carriage rules, and net neutrality backers say large broadband providers like Verizon and Comcast will now be tempted to provide tiered speeds based on which Internet companies pay them the most. Broadband providers and many Republicans have opposed a net neutrality law, and efforts to pass one failed in a Republican-controlled Congress in 2006. Democrats took over Congress this year. While Berners-Lee didn't hear a lot of opposition to his net neutrality comments at the hearing, Representative Mary Bono, a California Republican, challenged his assertion that DRM copy protections could hinder the growth of some parts of the Web. Berners-Lee called for open standards instead of closed DRM technologies. Instead of DRM, copyright holders should "allow people to do the right thing" by providing the information on how to legally use the material."

See also: the testimony transcript

Sun's Latest Turn With Open Source Nuts and Bolts
Clint Boulton,

Sun Microsystems has updated its Java Enterprise System, a software suite the company offers to prop up customers' Web services, composite applications and collaboration tools. Java Enterprise System is Sun's answer to IBM's WebSphere and BEA's WebLogic infrastructure software suites. The three rivals try to lure customers with building blocks for service-oriented architectures (SOA) that support newfangled Web 2.0 services, such as wikis, blogs and mashups. The Java ES 5.0 includes a new monitoring console to make it easier for customers to watch applications run in a system, said Jim McHugh, vice president of software infrastructure at Sun. Java ES 5.0 also features a new common installer to help administrators install and configure in global, local, sparse and root computing zones to boost system resource utilization. At the component level, McHugh said Identity Manager 7.0, Identity Auditor and Identity Manager Service Provider Edition have been rolled into one product for Java ES 5.0, enabling developers to automate periodic access review for legislative compliance. Software that alleviates compliance pains is in demand, thanks to Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA. Also, Application Server Enterprise Edition is the first to incorporate Java EE 5.0, enabling it to deploy faster and work better with NetBeans 5.0. The Directory Server Enterprise Edition boasts a virtual directory to provide admins virtual views of data pulled form multiple directories or databases. Java ES 5.0 Portal supports AJAX for the desktop, while Service Registry supports ebXML Registry Profile for Web Services and support for JavaDB running in network server mode. Java ES 5.0 continues to be a free, subscription-based software suite as per Sun's enlightened software model of offering its software via an open source license.

See also: the announcement

Identity Brings Microsoft and Internet 2.0 Together
Mary Branscombe, The Register

Microsoft isn't the only one taking an interest in Open ID. AOL, Yahoo! and Digg have all announced they'll accept Open ID credentials as a way of identifying users online. But for Microsoft this is more than just a technology partnership. It could be the first real step towards creating the multi-platform, multi-system identity metasystem. Oh, and it could mean one less headache for web developers too. San Jose's Redevelopment Agency's Kim Cameron was asked to identify why these deals matter. Open ID doesn't replace other forms of identity and authorisation; with the identity metasystem, that's not the point. And CardSpace isn't replacing or re-engineering Open ID. When you use your Open ID to log into a site, you currently get redirected to fill in the Open ID provider. In future you'll be able to do that invisibly by using the CardSpace interface in Vista or IE 7 (and eventually in other browsers when they implement the information card system—there are projects under way for Safari and Firefox). There are some identities you care deeply about; your credit card, the login to your company customer account system -- anything with money or private information involved. You create others for the convenience of a website that wants to present you with relevant content (or often advertising). You have to fill in your details and set up a password—and the site has to accept and store those. It's the latter that Open ID can replace, and do it more securely with CardSpace, according to Microsoft identity architect Kim Cameron. "There is a continuum of use cases which goes from transferring a billion dollars and the other end is I want to go to your blog. If you have a single technology for that whole thing, it's absurd; it would be like using a nuclear weapon on a mosquito. SAML, WS-Federation and WS-Trust have been solving these very significant problems at the level of government and at the level of enterprise.

See also: the Kim Cameron Identity Weblog

XML Document Text Memory (xml:tm) and GMX-V Official LISA Standards
Andrzej Zydron, OASIS DITA TC Posting

Andrzej Zydron announced that both xml:tm and GMX-V have been approved as official LISA OSCAR standards, culminating nearly four years of work. OSCAR (Open Standards for Container/content Allowing Reuse) is LISA's open standards body for the translation and localization industry. LISA (Localization Industry Standards Association), founded in 1990, provides professional support for the development of enterprise globalization guidelines, best practices, and business standards. xml:tm (XML-based Text Memory) is the vendor-neutral open XML standard for embedding text memory within an XML document. xml:tm leverages the namespace syntax of XML to embed text memory information within the XML document itself. xml:tm provides a radical new approach to the task of authoring and translating XML documents. xml:tm was designed from the outset to integrate closely with and leverage the potential of other XML based Localization Industry Standards as well as that of XML syntax itself. In particular, it uses: SRX - Segmentation Rules eXchange; Unicode Standard Annex #29-9; XLIFF 1.2; GMX-V - Global Information Management Metrics eXchange - Volume; TMX - Translation Memory eXchange; DITA; W3C Internationalization Tag Set (ITS). The W3C ITS Document Rules is an XML vocabulary that specifies which elements contain non-translatable text, which elements are inline, which inline elements form a 'subflow'—that is they do not form part of the linguistic entity within which they occur, and which elements have translatable attributes. The LISA Global Information Management Metrics eXchange Volume (GMX-V) specification has also been approved. The purpose of this vocabulary is to define the metrics that allow for the unambiguous sizing of a given Global Information Management task. GMX-V is one of the tripartite Global Information Management standards which encompass volume (GMX-V), complexity (GMX-C) and quality (GMX-Q). GMX provides a variety of statistics related to word and character counts that can be used to precisely quantify the amount of text (of various types) in a document. While it was designed with localization tasks in mind, it may be used in any field where precise, standardized quantification of text is needed.

See also: GMX-V

OGF WS-Naming Specification
Andrew Grimshaw and David Snelling, OGSA-Naming Working Group Report

Members of the Open Grid Forum (OGSA-Naming Working Group) have published a "WS-Naming Specification" in the Recommendations Track. The document provides information to the Grid and Web Services communities on naming and name resolution. Past experience has led developers to the conclusion that successful distributed systems must provide robust forms of naming. Naming is the mechanism by which the concept of identity is maintained and gives endpoints in the system the ability to talk about other endpoints in a highlevel, abstract way. Further, naming and dynamic name resolution are the means by which some of the classic distributed systems transparencies, such as location transparency and fault transparency, are achieved. This document follows the recommendations of 'OGSA Profile Definition Version 1.0' and describes an extension to the WS-Addressing specification to include extensibility elements for abstract names and for resolvers, as well as port types for the WSNaming resolution services. "WS-Addressing has achieved almost universal acceptance as the de-facto standard for endpoint addressing within the web services community; targeting this addressing mechanism for use by WS-Naming is a reasonable and obvious choice. Rather than proposing changes or extensions to the WS-Addressing specification itself, we have chosen the alternative route of defining WS-Naming as a profile on top of the WS-Addressing specification. Neither web service clients nor web service endpoints need to be aware of this profile and either is free to fail to generate or understand the WS-Naming elements described within. In such a case, the normal WS-Addressing behavior works exactly as described in the WS-Addressing specification. WS-Addressing describes an Endpoint Reference type with a single required element (the Address element) and a number of optional elements. WS-Addressing Endpoint References allow for extensibility elements to be added (via an xsd:any declaration in the schema) without changing the specification. Furthermore, the specification also notes that this information is not authoritative and may be stale or incoherent. The WS-Naming profile takes advantage of the open-content nature of WS-Addressing and uses WS-Addressing extensibility elements for various pieces of naming and rebinding information. Clients choosing not to participate in the WS-Naming profile continue to communicate without modification as per the WS-Addressing specification."

See also: OGF documents for public comment

Last Call Working Draft for The XMLHttpRequest Object Specification
Anne van Kesteren (ed), W3C Technical Report

W3C announced a Last Call Working Draft review for "The XMLHttpRequest Object" specification. The document was produced by the Web API Working Group, part of the Rich Web Clients Activity in the W3C Interaction Domain. The core component of AJAX, the XMLHttpRequest object implements an interface exposed by a scripting engine that' allows scripts to perform HTTP client functionality, such as submitting form data or loading data from a server. The name of the object is XMLHttpRequest for compatibility with the web, though each component of this name is potentially misleading. First, the object supports any text based format, including XML. Second, it can be used to make requests over both HTTP and HTTPS (some implementations support protocols in addition to HTTP and HTTPS, but that functionality is not covered by this specification). Finally, it supports "requests" in a broad sense of the term as it pertains to HTTP; namely all activity involved with HTTP requests or responses for the defined HTTP methods. Comments on the Last Call Working Draft are welcome through 2-April-2007.

See also: W3C W3C Rich Web Clients

Microsoft Pre-release Software Visual Studio Code Name "Orcas" (CTP)
Thom Robbins, .NET Weblog

In case you hadn't heard. We have just released the March CTP for 'Orcas' and the .NET Framework 3.5. Check out the VPC with the installed bits from here. As with all CTP's it is important to provide any feedback. The .NET Framework 3.5 brings no breaking changes. New technology is being added including LINQ, AJAX, WF, WCF and WPF Developer Tools and BCL enhancements. Among the .NET Framework 3.5 New Features: (1) More WS-* Standards Support: Implementation in WCF of the latest OASIS specifications Web Services Atomic Transaction (WS-AtomicTransaction) 1.1, WS-ReliableMessaging 1.1, WS-SecureCOnversation and Web Services Coordination (WS-Coordination) 1.1; (2) RSS and ATOM Syndication API: Applications built using WCF will be able to easily expose syndicated data which can be consumed by an RSS or ATOM reader; (3) Workflow Enabled Services - Process and Messaging together: Using workflow to provide for durable and long-running services. New Tools, WF activities and new programming model classes have been added to simplify building workflow-enabled services using WF and WCF. This allows a .NET Framework developer to build business logic for a service using WF and expose messaging from that service using WCF. These improvements not only provide tools for this scenario but they reduce the amount of glue code that was previously required. (4) Web 2.0 Friendly and AJAX Enabled WCF Services: Ajax is a web development technique for making asynchronous exchanges of small amounts of data between browser and web service calls from the browser client script to the web server. A programming model is provided for building Ajax style web applications using WCF services. An HTTP programming model is also provided allowing for REST style web services.

See also: InfoWorld

Ruby Brightens the NetBeans Platform: Sun Extends Java IDE
Paul Krill, InfoWorld

Sun Microsystems has added Ruby support to the NetBeans IDE and bolstered the JRuby platform as well, company officials acknowledged on Thursday. The early-access release of the NetBeans Ruby Pack is comprised of a plug-in to the open-source NetBeans development environment supporting Ruby and JRuby, which is a Java implementation of Ruby that runs on the Java Virtual Machine. NetBeans has been centered on Java but is being extended to Ruby. Ruby developers typically have not been using IDEs, but Sun's announcement "really gives you a much more productive environment than you've had for Ruby before." Sun has taken notice of the popularity of Ruby. "Ruby is the hottest scripting language out there right now," said James Governor, who added he expects Sun to make a similar move to support another popular scripting language, PHP. The NetBeans Ruby Pack enables features like code completion. Integration documentation pop-ups are offered for Ruby API calls. Also included is semantic analysis with highlighting of parameters and unused local variables. Ruby support is available for NetBeans 6 Milestone 7 as a download. The upcoming NetBeans 6.0 platform, due in November, will be bundled with Ruby support. Meanwhile, Sun is formally announcing the 0.9.8 release of JRuby, with enhanced support for Ruby on Rails on Monday; compatibility issues have been addressed.

See also: the NetBeans IDE


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