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Created: March 21, 2002.
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Interwoven Publishes Draft Content Services Specification.

Interwoven has published a draft specification for Content Services, described as "a new, open, and implemented standard for accessing Enterprise Content Management functions as Web Services." Content Services (CS) is "a specification for providing core content infrastructure functionality in the form of web services. Exposing those capabilities as web services offers the advantage of language and platform independence. The Content Services standard delivers these business benefits because of its comprehensive design. It encompasses all lifecycle elements of enterprise content management; including content transfer, metadata, workflow, workareas, locking, and many other functions. These functions are made available as a Web Services in a vendor-neutral solution, promising to hide many of the differences between competing software platforms, programming languages, and hardware specifics. The standard is built on the basic foundational standards for Web Services WSDL (Web Service Description Language) and SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol). A 1.0 version of the standard has been implemented and is being used in commercial products now. [Interwoven] will submit the standard to one of the industry's open standards groups for future versions." A WSDL definition file and accompanying DTDs are available from the website along with the public review specification.

Bibliographic information: Content Services 0.9. Public Review Draft 18-March-2002. Version URI: Edited by Ron Daniel, Jr. (Interwoven, Inc.). 50 pages. "This document specifies the interfaces to an initial set of Content Services. The interfaces are defined by a WSDL (Web Services Description Language) document, provided in Appendix B. That is the normative portion of this specification. If any conflicts are detected between Appendix B and the rest of the document, Appendix B must be followed.

Web Service Description Language (WSDL) Definition: "A fully commented version of the services0.9.wsdl file for Content Services is available. It allows alternative programming languages to be used to invoke or implement the services. Download also a copy of the XML DTDs for the companion XML workflow and task query formats."

Architecture: "The Content Services defined in this document provide a set of basic functions needed across an organization's content infrastructure. As services, they wait for a client to make a request, which they will try to honor. They will then send a response message to the client. The client could be a typical end-user application, however, that is not expected to be the most common situation. The client for the services will usually be a piece of middleware running under the control of a web applications server. That client for the service is, in turn, a server for requests coming in from end-users by way of entries in an HTML form, or from applications performing regularly scheduled tasks..."

From the announcement:

"Interwoven, Inc., leader in Enterprise Content Management, joined by major portal vendors, today announced the publication of the Content Services specification, the industry's first open and implemented Web Services specification for access to Enterprise Content Management functionality. This proposed standard was championed by Interwoven with support from leading application vendors with portal offerings, including BEA, Bowstreet, Sun Microsystems, Inc., SAP Portals, Sybase, and TIBCO Software, and will be submitted this month for consideration by one of the international open standards bodies.

This business critical proposed specification provides an enterprise content management foundation that is interoperable, reliable and future-proofed for enterprise applications. Future proofing provides a long-term, sustainable ecosystem in several ways: the customer is not tied to the product planning process of a single vendor; increased choice of vendors leads to higher quality products at lower prices; best-of-breed products are combined into enterprise applications more quickly and easily because of their interoperability; and best practices are learned from the experiences of many systems.

The proposed standard is built on the basic foundational standards for Web Services: WSDL (Web Service Description Language) and SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol). Those standards are already well established, and development tools to support them are now becoming available. This is a significant advantage for customers because Web Services form the foundation of major initiatives in the software industry, including the Sun Open Net Environment (Sun ONE) and Microsoft's .NET.

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