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Created: April 29, 2002.
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W3C Publishes Requirements Documents for Web Services Architecture and Description.

Two web services requirements documents have been released by Working Groups within the W3C Web Services Activity. The Web Services Architecture Working Group has published a set of requirements for a standard reference architecture for Web Services in the working draft Web Services Architecture Requirements. These requirements "are intended to guide the development of the reference architecture and provide a set of measurable constraints on Web Services implementations by which conformance can be determined." Background to this design is identified as a recognition that the "use of Web Services on the World Wide Web is expanding rapidly as the need for application-to-application communication and interoperability grows. These services provide a standard means of communication among different software applications involved in presenting dynamic context-driven information to the user. In order to promote interoperability and extensibility among these applications, as well as to allow them to be combined in order to perform more complex operations, a standard reference architecture is needed. The Web Services Architecture Working Group at W3C is tasked with producing this reference architecture." A deliverable from the W3C Web Services Description Working Group presents "the first W3C Working Draft of the Web Services Description Requirements document" with definitions and requirements for WS messages, message exchange patterns, and protocol bindings"; certain rejected requirements are retained in the XML source.

Bibliographic information:

Web Services Architecture Requirements. W3C Working Draft 29-April-2002. Edited by Daniel Austin (W. W. Grainger, Inc.), Abbie Barbir (Nortel Networks, Inc.), and Sharad Garg (The Intel Corporation). Version URL: Latest version URL:

Web Services Description Requirements. W3C Working Draft 29-April-2002. Edited by Jeffrey C. Schlimmer (Microsoft). Version URL: Latest version URL: See also the XML version with additional content.

Top-level Goals for the Web Services Architecture: "(1) The Web Services Architecture should provide a reference platform for the development of interoperable Web Services across a wide array of environments; (2) The Web Services Architecture must be reliable and stable over time; (3) The Web Services Architecture must be consistent with the current and future evolution of the World Wide Web; (4) The Web Services Architecture must provide a secure environment for online processes; (5) The Web Services Architecture must be scalable and extensible; (6) The Web Services Architecture Working Group will work to ensure that the Architecture will meet the needs of the user community." [...] The W3C Web Services Reference Architecture is intended primarily for the W3C Web Services Architecture Working Group to analyze, prioritize and characterize the technologies that are needed to fully realize an interoperable and extensible realization of the promise of Web Services. It is also intended for the use of other working groups specifying the technologies identified and described in the architecture. A secondary target audience for the architecture are the developers implementing the specified technologies, and the wider IT community that uses these technologies to deploy Web Services.

Patent disclosures: The W3C Web Services Description Working Group's patent disclosure page includes one statement, from Hewlett-Packard Company: "We do have patent claims that we believe will be essential for the implementation of the proposed W3 Specification and have chosen to make them available to all on royalty-free [terms]; note: HP may have Essential Patent Claims, depending on the actual specifications which are ultimately adopted. If HP has such Claims, HP is willing to make them available on RF terms." See similarly for the Web Services Architecture WG IPR statement, and background on HP's posture.

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