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Created: August 25, 2003.
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UBR Operators Council Announces Beta Release of UDDI Business Registry for UDDI Version 3.0.

The UDDI Business Registry (UBR) Operators Council has announced the availability of beta nodes for Version 3 of the Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration specification. Composed of members from IBM, Microsoft, NTT Communications, and SAP, the UDDI Operators Council operates the UDDI Business Registry, collecting information from UDDI web services implementations and providing feedback to members of the OASIS UDDI Specification Technical Committee. The UDDI specification "enables businesses to quickly, easily, and dynamically find and transact with one another. UDDI enables a business to describe its business and its services, discover other businesses that offer desired services, and integrate with these other businesses." The UBR announcement highlights four key enhancements in the UDDI Business Registry based upon the UDDI Version 3.0 Committee Specification. (1) Support for User-Defined Keys allows users to create human readable values for keys based on the known concept of domain names. Version 3 recommends the usage of a key scheme based on DNS names rather than formatted Universally Unique Identifier (UUID) notation; this allows publishers to establish a key partition from a DNS record and then generate keys based on that partition. (2) In V3 the UDDI Business Registry (UBR) becomes a Root Registry: the UBR will serve as the recognized root registry for globally unique keys, where affiliate registries will be able to reserve UDDI keys. (3) Version 3 also introduces Portable Keys -- the ability to copy keys between registries without being altered, enabling public and private registries to import information from others. (4) Digital Signatures based upon the W3C/IETF Recommendation are now used. The addition of digital signature support for entities in UDDI enables clients to establish the veracity of data registered in the UBR. By allowing UDDI entities to be digitally signed, a new level of data integrity and authenticity is delivered by UDDI; inquirers of a registry can now filter their queries, only requesting data that has in fact been signed."

The UDDI Version 3 UBR Beta Milestone

Comments from George Zagelow (Chair, OASIS UDDI Member Section Steering Committee; Managing Director, UDDI Operators Council) highlight the importance of the UBR Beta implementation. He says:

The UBR Beta 1 for UDDI Version 3 brings important new functionality to UDDI -- functionality that responds to requirements from customers currently using UDDI. In particular, the idea of flexible topologies of public and private registries gives customers the ability to move entries between private and public registries while retaining the same keys. As many early adopters of UDDI are using private registries, being able to "promote" entries for public use will be increasingly important. Going hand-in-hand with more public use of registry information is users feeling comfortable that the entities they find in the registry really are who they say they are. Certification through the use of digital signatures will help provide that comfort level.

From the inception of the development of UDDI, we've believed we needed implementations to help insure that the specifications would produce a complete, interroperable solution. The Operators Council is running both test and production versions of the UBR. These activities can uncover inconsistencies, ambiguities, omissions, etc. in the spec. We have formal processes for generating Change Requests for submission to the UDDI Specification TC at OASIS. Our experience with V3 has already generated a number of Change Requests.

Additionally, the power of componentry like UDDI is greatly enhanced when customers can easily use it in concert with other Web services componentry. Tools can go a long way in providing that ease of use. Providing early access to the V3 functionality will allow tool providers to ready their products for V3.

Finally, customers need to get ready to use the new technology in their environments. Using the V3 Beta can help with understanding of how the function will work, helping customers evaluate it for their particular applications. Such evaluation can also help uncover requirements not yet met by the specification, for early feedback to the OASIS UDDI Specification TC.

UBR Beta 1 Implementations for UDDI V3

The reference page provides the Inquiry API and Publish API Test Node URLs as well as HomePage URLs for the UDDI Business Registry Nodes. UDDI Business Registry V.3 beta implementations can be found at these URLs:

The reference page also provides URLs for the Version 2 nodes. NTT Communications plans to upgrade its node to V3 in time for the launch of production-level Version 3 support.

The reference page describes how "you can find products and services in the Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI) Business Registry. You can locate business partners to integrate with you. This will allow your company to access potential buyers and marketplaces worldwide. And, you can register in the UDDI Business Registry to make your business integration significantly easier and more dynamic for those companies with which you choose to transact business. Registering your company and services enables you to publicly list basic information about your company and offerings. There will also be the option to list a catalog of products, services and guidelines for engagement. As registrants, integration will be significantly easier and more dynamic for companies transacting business with each other..."

Highlights of UDDI Business Registry (UBR) and UDDI V.3

The announcement from the UBR Operators Council highlighted four important capabilities to the UDDI Business Registry based upon the V3 specification:

User-Defined Keys: "This allows users to create human readable values for keys based on the known concept of domain names... The primary motivations for the recommendation to use uddiKeys is to allow publishers to specify keys for entities they publish in UDDI registries using 'sensible looking' keys and to promote interoperation among UDDI registries... Keys in the recommended scheme are case insensitive. The canonicalization algorithm does not normalize the case of URIs, which implies it does not normalize the case of keys. Even so, UDDI is required to preserve the case on uddiKeys to keep from invalidating digital signatures on signed entities that have publisher assigned keys. ... The registry keying policy may allow an entity's key to be proposed by the publisher. If the publisher does not propose a key for an entity, the registry must assign one... Since entity keys must be unique in a registry without regard to the type of entity and since registries must define to impose policies concerning which publishers may publish which keys, publisher-assigned keys are subject to rules that UDDI registries enforce. Behavior that ensures uniqueness across entity types (businessEntity, businessService, bindingTemplate, tModel and subscription) is required for all registries. In this section we discuss the behavior of registries that use the recommended uddi: key structure. This behavior provides uniqueness and promotes interoperability among registries, while allowing various registry-specific policies to be built..."

UDDI Business Registry (UBR) as a Root Registry: Once the UBR migrates to V.3, the UBR will serve as the recognized root registry for globally unique keys, where affiliate registries will be able to reserve UDDI keys... In order to enable this new scenario of multiple UDDI registries sharing keys, the establishment of a root registry is critical. An important example of a root registry is the UDDI Business Registry (UBR), which today has a set of policies in place to generate unique keys as well as in the future will implement policies to validate key partitions through signatures that correlate with DNS records. These policies ensure the uniqueness of keys within the UDDI Business Registry, thus establishing the UBR as a root registry of many purposes. By acknowledging the UBR as a root, an affiliate registry can establish inter-registry communication policies and procedures with both the UBR and any other registry which is an affiliate of the UBR."

Portable Keys: Version 3 introduces the ability to copy keys between registries without being altered, enabling public and private registries to import information from others... The Version 1 and 2 specifications mandated that only the UDDI node could generate keys. A publisher could not pre-assign the key of a UDDI entity. With this stipulation in place, a publisher could not import or export data between registries. The rationale behind this mandate was to insure that no duplicate keys would ever be generated in a given registry because only nodes within that registry had the authority to generate keys. Consequently data sharing between registries in Version 1 and 2 of UDDI was functionally not allowed. Version 3 of UDDI approaches the issue of key generation in a significantly different fashion and, as such, the possibility of publishing an entity to another UDDI registry while preserving the key is allowed. This behavior is known as entity promotion. With this version of UDDI, a publisher is permitted to propose a new key for an entity, and, given the policies of a registry, that key and the entity associated with that key may be inserted into the registry. Thus, the possibility of sharing data among UDDI registries is a reality and, with this new functionality, UDDI's scope in terms of a more broadly distributed environment is made manifest..."

Digital Signatures: "The addition of digital signature support for entities in UDDI enables clients to establish the veracity of data registered in the UBR." Support for XML Digital Signatures is documented in Appendix I of the UDDI Version 3.0 Committee Specification, based upon the W3C Recommendation XML-Signature Syntax and Processing. The UDDI v3 schema supports signing of the following UDDI elements: businessEntity, businessService, bindingTemplate, tModel, and publisherAssertion.

"A major advancement in the Version 3 specification is the support for digital signatures. By allowing UDDI entities to be digitally signed, a new level of data integrity and authenticity is delivered by UDDI. Inquirers of a registry can now filter their queries, only requesting data that has in fact been signed. When an inquirer then retrieves and verifies data from a registry, the inquirer can be confident that the data is exactly as the publisher intended it. Publishers to a registry now have the assurance that they are not being misrepresented by someone claiming to own a UDDI entity. Once publishers have signed data, they can have confidence in the integrity of that data. These assurances for both the inquirer and publisher are transitive: given V3's support of entity promotion, data can be copied between registries and guaranteed to not have changed during the process of being copied. As such, the multiple registry environment discussed above can be achieved with a high level of data integrity. Ultimately, digital signatures improve the data quality within UDDI and allow both the protection and non-repudiation required for e-commerce and other Web services scenarios that call for a high degree of trust."

From the Announcement

The Universal Description, Discovery and Integration protocol is one of the major building blocks that enable successful Web service deployments. UDDI creates a standard interoperable platform that enables companies and applications to quickly, easily and dynamically find and use Web services.

"The beta release of UBR V.3 takes a further step in bringing this important specification closer to successful real-world implementations," said Charles Abrams, research director, Gartner Research. "The UDDI Operators Council is providing companies with an early opportunity to explore new functionality when considering extended Web service implementations."

UDDI is a cross-industry effort driven by major platform and software providers, as well as marketplace operators and e-business leaders within the OASIS standards consortium. IBM, Microsoft and SAP will provide UDDI V.3 beta nodes. With this beta, the UBR operators continue to provide validation of the UDDI specification through early reference implementations. Early availability of new V.3 features affords tool providers and early adopters publicly available access to this technology.

The UDDI Operators Council, which consists of IBM, Microsoft, NTT Communications and SAP, continues to provide support for the momentum in the developer community to harness real-world implementations of the advanced specification. The Operators Council documents and submits their experience with the beta implementation to the OASIS UDDI Specification Technical Committee to help refine and improve the UDDI V.3 Specification.

"As UDDI V.3 progresses toward an OASIS Standard, the UBR Beta implementation will provide for verification of the completeness of the specification, as well as give users and tool providers an opportunity to get ready for the new functionality," said George Zagelow, managing director, UDDI Operators Council.

"OASIS is excited to see the release of UBR V.3. The UDDI Business Registry remains a visible channel for companies to explore and use UDDI in a public and live environment," said Patrick Gannon, president and CEO, OASIS. "The reference implementation activity in the UBR also helps satisfy the OASIS implementation requirement for the V.3 specification to progress toward becoming an OASIS Standard."

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