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Open Source: Hermes Messaging Gateway v2.0 (H2O)
Staff, CECID Announcement
The Center for E-Commerce Infrastructure Development (CECID), University of Hong Kong (HKU) has announced a new open source version of Hermes Messaging Gateway v2.0 (H2O) will be released on 1-June-2007, to replace the two current editions of Hermes (H2CE and H2EE). Thanks to project funding from the HKSAR Government's Innovation and Technology Commission, more features and functionality of Hermes are available as open source to users and developers of business-to-business integration and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). Besides supporting ebXML Messaging Service (ebMS) and Applicability Specification 2 (AS2), H2O will provide additional tools and a full set of documentation to make configuration, and administration even more easily. The new release will include an installation wizard, web-based GUI admin tool, message status query capabilities, and documentation of an installation guide, configuration guide, admin tool user guide as well as the plug-in development guide. H2O and its source code will be released under GNU General Public License Version 2. Completed the AS2 Interoperability Testing AS-1Q05 with 29 other participants organized by U.S. leading testing company, Drummond Group Inc., Hermes 2 enables real-time communication through HTTP or HTTPS to transmit data over the Internet. Besides, it provides security for the transport payload through Secure Multi-Purpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME), digital signatures and encryption, while reliability and non-repudiation are achieved through the use of receipts. The ebXML Messaging Service (ebMS) and AS2 messaging capabilities are facilitated by the corresponding plugins, which can be easily developed by users through Hermes' Simple Plugin Architecture specification. The messaging operation requires a database with JDBC connectivity to keep track of the messaging status.
See also: the earlier news story
W3C Last Call Review for Web Services Addressing Metadata
Martin Gudgin, Marc Hadley, et al. (eds), W3C Technical Report
W3C's Web Services Addressing Working Group has announced the publication of a third Last Call Working Draft for "Web Services Addressing 1.0 - Metadata" to prepare the specification for consideration as a Candidate Recommendation. This new version refines WS-Policy assertions, based on the Web Services Policy 1.5 framework. A new XML namespace is defined in this release, along with a RDDL namespace document explaining the stability of the namespace URI (http://www.w3.org/2007/05/addressing/metadata). Once the specification has reached Candidate Recommendation status, the working group intends to maintain the value of the "Web Services Addressing 1.0 - Metadata" namespace URI that was assigned in the Candidate Recommendation unless significant changes are made that impact the implementation of the specification. "Web Services Addressing 1.0 - Core" defines a set of abstract properties and an XML Infoset representation of Web service endpoint references (EPRs) and to facilitate end-to-end addressing of endpoints in messages. The "Web Services Addressing 1.0 - Metadata" specofication defines how the abstract properties defined in Web Services Addressing Core are described using WSDL, and how WS-Policy can be used to indicate the support of WS-Addressing by a Web service. WS-Addressing is designed to be able to work with WS-Policy 1.5, WSDL 2.0, and also (for backwards compatibility) with WSDL 1.1 described services.
See also: W3C Web Services Activity
REST Web Services Critical to Rails Upgrade
Paul Krill, InfoWorld
Ruby on Rails 2.0, a planned upgrade to the open-source Web framework, will feature REST (Representational State Transfer) as its preferred choice for Web services, according to David Heinemeier Hansson, the developer of the framework. REST Web services will be emphasized for linking applications when using Rails rather than the more high-profile SOAP technology. The Action Web Service SOAP capability in earlier versions of Rails is being unbundled and replaced with an Active Resource tool for REST. Users still can use Action Web Service if they want. Hansson stressed to the audience that Rails is not neutral about technology but instead makes choices: "The answer is not SOAP. The answer is REST." The upgraded framework will leave out some things previously bundled with the package and allow them to be added as optional plugins. Macros for the in-place editor, for example, will be removed. Debugging is being enhanced in version 2.0 through reintroduction of the breakpoints feature. With breakpoints, an application can be stopped during execution so developers can examine what is happening with it... Also featured is HTTP authentication.
Enterprise Sign On Engine (ESOE) Alpha 0.1 Available
Staff, ESOE Project Announcement
Developers of the The Enterprise Sign On Engine (ESOE) Project announced the release of an Alpha 0.1 version. ESOE is an advanced system which allows an enterprise to meet it's individual goals for integrated identity management, single sign on, authorization, federation and accountability for resource access in a very extensible manner. The ESOE is built using the OASIS SAML 2.0 specification, and the ESOE's powerful authorization engine is built around a reduced version of the OASIS XACML 2.0 standard which we have called Lightweight Extensible Authorization Control Markup Language ("LXACML"). The ESOE can integrate identity from unlimited repositories, automatically create sessions for users whom are logged into Active Directory (true single sign on), provide for centralized authorization policy management and natively federate with technologies such as Shibboleth and OpenID. If you're already using an SSO solution, there is a pretty good chance the ESOE can interact with it, allowing you to use the enhanced capabilities of the ESOE without needing to replace everything you already have. Being heavily standards based, all your existing identity infrastructure such as LDAP compliant directories, databases and even flat files are only a plugin away.
See also: the ESOE Project description
W3C Renews XML Protocol Working Group
Staff, W3C Announcement
W3C recently announced the relaunch of the XML Protocol Working Group. Chris Ferris (IBM) chairs the group, which is chartered through December 31, 2007 to maintain and develop SOAP and related specifications. In particular, the Working Group is responsible for updating errata documents and publishing new editions of the SOAP 1.2, XML-binary Optimized Packaging (XOP), and SOAP Message Transmission Optimization Mechanism (MTOM) W3C Recommendations, incorporating published errata. In addition to the maintenance effort, the XML Protocol Working Group is chartered to work on SOAP Version 1.2 extensions. The Group will produce a Web Services Policy (WS Policy) assertion for MTOM, using the W3C Member submission MTOM Serialization Policy Assertion (WS-MTOMPolicy), and will continue the work the SOAP One way MEP, a Message Exchange Pattern describing one-way SOAP messaging. The XML Protocol Working Group is expected to demonstrate interoperable implementations during the Call for Implementations step.
See also: the W3C announcement
Open XML: Custom Schemas Revisited
Doug Mahugh, Open XML File Formats Blog
Open XML's unique approach to custom XML support is very important. It enables what I call vertical interoperability, and in our developer workshops this is usually what developers find most compelling about Open XML: the ability to integrate other types of systems and data with Open XML documents, while maintaining a clean, simple separation of presentation (Open XML markup) and data—custom schemas and instances thereof. The specific way that Open XML has implemented custom markup, using attributes to encode semantics (much like microformats) and therefore allowing for any schema to be used is extremely flexible compared to other approaches, but the core concept of custom XML markup isn't new. The place where Open XML breaks new ground is in its support for custom XML parts within the OPC package. You can put any existing XML file inside an Open XML document, and that XML file can be exposed to the user or not, whatever you'd like. One of the key concepts of Open XML's custom schema support is that you can use any schema, and any existing XML instance—so the source of this XML, and the way it's structured, don't matter at all. As developers start to understand the creative possibilities of this approach, they're starting to use custom XML parts to enable interoperability that would have seemed impossible just a few years ago. Mindjet's interoperability with Microsoft Word is a great example: it allows lossless round-trip collaboration between their 2D graphics application and a word-processing program.
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