IBM and Microsoft have jointly issued an announcement for a Web Services Inspection specification (WS-Inspection). The WS-Inspection specification "defines how an application can discover an XML Web service description on a Web server, enabling developers to easily browse Web servers for XML Web services. WS-Inspection complements the IBM- and Microsoft-pioneered 'Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI)' global directory technology by facilitating the discovery of available services on Web sites unlisted in the UDDI registries, and builds on Microsoft's SOAP Discovery technology built into Visual Studio .NET. IBM and Microsoft expect to submit WS-Inspection to an appropriate standards body. WS-Inspection provides (1) a standard way to locate and retrieve Web Services Description Language (WSDL) documents and other service descriptions by browsing a single Web server; (2) the capability for XML Web service providers to group sets of related service descriptions, enabling interested parties to determine which descriptions are related to particular services; (3) a way to correlate XML Web services with other types of content, such as HTML pages. For example, a browser may download an HTML page that has corresponding XML Web services of which both the user and the browser environment need to be made aware."
Specification abstract: "The WS-Inspection specification provides an XML format for assisting in the inspection of a site for available services and a set of rules for how inspection related information should be made available for consumption. A WS-Inspection document provides a means for aggregating references to pre-existing service description documents which have been authored in any number of formats. These inspection documents are then made available at the point-of-offering for the service as well as through references which may be placed within a content medium such as HTML."
The IBM Web Services Toolkit contains an implementation of the WS-Inspection specification. "Web Services ToolKit is a software development kit that includes a run-time environment, a demo, and examples to aid in designing and executing Web service applications that can automatically find one another and collaborate in business transactions without additional programming or human intervention. Simple examples of Web services are provided, as well as demonstrations of how some of the emerging technology standards, such as SOAP, UDDI, and WSDL, work together. The updated version has: WS-Inspection support, WebSphere 4.0 support, HTTPR demo, XKMS prototype, Web Services for Browser, run-time and tooling enhancements, HTTP proxy support, more documentation."
The Microsoft WS-Inspection Sample "contains two Visual Studio .NET projects that are compatible with Visual Studio .NET Beta 2. The projects contain: (1) An API for manipulating WS-Inspection documents -- reading, editing, writing; (2) A Windows application for creating simple WS-Inspection documents. The sample illustrates how to manipulate and create WS-Inspection documents. You may download the sample code to view on your local system."
- Announcement 2001-11-01: "Microsoft and IBM Unveil New XML Web Services Specification. Web Services Inspection Specification Defines an Additional Method for Discovering XML Web Services." [Source: IBM, Microsoft]
- Web Services Inspection Language (WS-Inspection) 1.0
- "An Overview of the Web Services Inspection Language. Distributed Web Service Discovery Using WS-Inspection Documents." By Peter Brittenham (Web Services Architect, IBM Corporation). From IBM DeveloperWorks. November 2001.
- " The WS-Inspection and UDDI Relationship." By William A. Nagy (IBM) and Keith Ballinger (Microsoft).
- IBM Web Services Toolkit
- IBM Web Services Zone
- Microsoft WS-Inspection Sample
- Web Services from Microsoft
- "Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI)" - Main reference page.