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Created: November 15, 2004.
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WS-Reliability Version 1.1 Approved as an OASIS Standard.

The OASIS membership has voted to ratify WS-Reliability 1.1 as an OASIS Standard. Other approved OASIS Standards include AVDL, CAP, DocBook, DSML, ebXML, SAML, SPML, UBL, UDDI, WS-Reliability, WSRP, WSS, XACML, and XCBF.

The WS-Reliability specification has been produced by members of the OASIS Web Services Reliable Messaging (WSRM) Technical Committee. OASIS Sponsor Member companies supporting development of the WSRM specification include Booz Allen Hamilton; Cyclone Commerce; Fujitsu; Hewlett-Packard; Hitachi; NEC Corporation; Novell; Oracle; SeeBeyond Technology Corporation; Sun Microsystems.

WS-Reliability "provides a method to guarantee message delivery over the Internet, enabling companies to conduct reliable business-to-business trading or collaboration using Web services. It defines a SOAP-based protocol for exchanging SOAP messages with guaranteed delivery, no duplicates, and guaranteed message ordering. WS-Reliability is defined as SOAP header extensions and is independent of the underlying protocol, but the specification also provides a binding to HTTP."

WS-Reliability defines reliability "in the context of current Web Services standards and is designed for use in combination with other complementary protocols. It builds upon previous development experiences, for example, the ebXML Message Service Specification (ebMS)." WS-Reliability also defines how to use reliability in compliance with WS-I Basic Profile 1.1.

Both WS-Reliability and ebMS "have same messaging reliability contracts as objectives: guaranteed delivery, no duplicate delivery, ordered delivery, and combinations of these. However, WS-Reliability has improved on scalability and performance by generalizing the use of sequence numbers, and can accommodate different security and access conditions on each party, as this is more frequently the case with a Web service and its clients, compared to more symmetrical access conditions in messaging. The reliability contract is more application-oriented in WS-Reliability, where acknowledgment is on final delivery, in contrast to 'on receipt' by the message handler in ebMS."

A Web Services Reliable Messaging Protocol (WS-ReliableMessaging) specification from BEA, IBM, Microsoft, and TIBCO Software covers much of the same territory as WS-Reliability. It provides "a modular mechanism for reliable message delivery. WS-ReliableMessaging defines a messaging protocol to identify, track, and manage the reliable delivery of messages between exactly two parties, a source, and a destination; it also defines a SOAP binding that is required for interoperability."

As defined through the OASIS TC's requirements document, Reliable Messaging (RM) "is the execution of a transport-agnostic, SOAP-based protocol providing quality of service in the reliable delivery of messages. There are two aspects to Reliable Messaging; both must be equally addressed when specifying RM features: (1) The wire protocol aspect. RM is a protocol, including both specific message headers and specific message choreographies, between a sending party and a receiving party; (2) The quality of service (QoS) aspect. RM defines a quality of messaging service to the communicating parties, viz., the users of the messaging service. This assumes a protocol between these users and the provider of this service (i.e., the reliable messaging middleware). This protocol is defined by a set of abstract operations: Submit, Deliver, Notify, Respond."

The WS-Reliability 1.1 Committee Draft specification approved for advancement to the status of OASIS Standard is distributed as a ZIP archive containing a prose document in PDF format and four XML schema files. The 72-page prose specification defines the purpose and terminology, messaging model, reliability agreement and features, message format, operational aspects and semantics, HTTP binding, and conformance. "Thresholds such as rate of failures, minimal size of persistent store, average latency, and quantitative measures that may appear in service level agreements (SLAs) are out of scope for this version."

WS-Reliability 1.1 also includes: (1) XML Schema for WS-Reliability Protocol Headers for SOAP 1.1 & SOAP 1.2 Protocols; (2) XML Schema for Features, Property, and Compositor Constructs; (3) XML Schema for ServiceRefType; (4) XML Schema for WSRM Features and Properties.

Bibliographic Information

The WS-Reliability 1.1 specification (Version "1.1", CD 1.086) was approved as a Committee Draft and was subsequently approved as an OASIS Standard. The specification distributed as a ZIP archive containing a prose document in PDF format and four XML schema files.

  • WS-Reliability v1.1. Web Services Reliability (WS-Reliability) OASIS Standard. From the OASIS Web Services Reliable Messaging TC. 15-November-2004. Document identifier: 'wsrm-ws_reliability-v1.1-spec-os'. 74 pages. For this version, the cover page and footers were edited to reflect OASIS Standard status; otherwise, it should be identical to the Version 1.086 CD which was balloted. Posted April 27, 2005. [source PDF]

  • Web Services Reliable Messaging TC. WS-Reliability 1.1. Reference: Committee Draft, approved as an OASIS Standard. Version 1.086. August 24, 2004. 72 pages. Document identifier: 'oasis-wsrm-ws_reliability-1.1-spec-cd-1.086'. Principal editor: Kazunori Iwasa (Fujitsu Limited). Assisting editors: Jacques Durand (Fujitsu Software Corporation), Tom Rutt (Fujitsu Software Corporation), Mark Peel (Novell, Inc.), Sunil Kunisetty (Oracle Corporation), and Doug Bunting (Sun Microsystems). [revision 1]

    Acknowledgments. The following individuals were members of the committee during the development of this specification: David Ingham (Arjuna Technologies Limited), Joseph Chiusano (Booz Allen Hamilton), Peter Furniss (Choreology Ltd), Jeff Turpin (Cyclone Commerce), Pramila Mullan (France Telecom), Jacques Durand (Fujitsu), Kazunori Iwasa (Secretary, Fujitsu), Tom Rutt (Chair, Fujitsu), Jishnu Mukerji (Hewlett-Packard), Robert Freund (Hitachi), Eisaku Nishiyama (Hitachi), Nobuyuki Yamamoto (Hitachi), Ben Bloch (Individual), Mark Hansen (Individual), Paolo Romano (Individual), Dock Allen (Mitre Corporation), Junichi Tatemura (NEC Corporation), Alan Weissberger (NEC Corporation), Magdolna Gerendai (Nokia), Szabolcs Payrits (Nokia), Mark Peel (Novell), Sunil Kunisetty (Secretary, Oracle), Anish Karmarkar (Oracle), Jeff Mischkinsky (Oracle), Marc Goodner (Secretary, SAP), Pete Wenzel (SeeBeyond Technology Corporation), Doug Bunting (Secretary, Sun Microsystems), Tony Graham (Sun Microsystems), Chi-Yuen Ng (University of Hong Kong), Patrick Yee (University of Hong Kong), Prasad Yendluri (webMethods Inc.), Scott Werden (WRQ Inc).

  • XML Schema for WS-Reliability Protocol Headers for SOAP 1.1 & SOAP 1.2 Protocols. Edited by Sunil Kunisetty, Scott Werden, and Doug Bunting. Version: 1.1. August 04, 2004. File: 'ws-reliability-1.1.xsd'. "In a case where the text of the specification is shown to be in conflict with schema statements, the Schema statement prevails."

  • XML Schema for Features, Property, and Compositor Constructs. Edited by Sunil Kunisetty and Anish Karmarkar. Version: 1.1. June 07, 2004. File: 'fnp-1.1.xsd'. "In a case where the text of the specification is shown to be in conflict with schema statements, the Schema statement prevails."

  • XML Schema for ServiceRefType. Edited by Sunil Kunisetty and Anish Karmarkar. Version: 1.1. June 07, 2004. File: 'reference-1.1.xsd'. "In a case where the text of the specification is shown to be in conflict with schema statements, the Schema statement prevails."

  • XML Schema for WSRM Features And Properties. Edited by Sunil Kunisetty and Anish Karmarkar. Version: 1.1. August 03, 2004. File: 'wsrmfp-1.1.xsd'. "In a case where the text of the specification is shown to be in conflict with schema statements, the Schema statement prevails."

From the OASIS Announcement 2004-11-15

The OASIS international standards consortium today announced that its members have approved WS-Reliability version 1.1 as an OASIS Standard, a status that signifies the highest level of ratification. Developed through an open process, WS-Reliability provides a method to guarantee message delivery over the Internet, enabling companies to conduct reliable business-to-business trading or collaboration using Web services.

"Reliable message delivery is one of the key issues to be addressed if there is to be widespread adoption of Web services, particularly in business-to-business scenarios," said Neil Macehiter, research director at Ovum. "Communications using Internet-based protocols, such as HTTP and SMTP, are inherently unreliable and do not support the assured or ordered delivery demanded by the applications on which businesses depend. WS-Reliability, being an approved OASIS Standard developed in open forum that addresses these limitations, is an important step on the path to realizing the promise of Web services."

WS-Reliability supports guaranteed delivery, which ensures the message is delivered at least once, duplication elimination, which certifies that the message is delivered at most once, and message delivery ordering, which guarantees messages in a sequence are delivered in the order sent.

"Financial transactions are just one example of the kind of applications that need WS-Reliability to meet quality-of-service standards. A message requesting a money withdrawal, for instance, must be received by an application once and only once," noted Tom Rutt, chair of the OASIS Web Services Reliable Messaging (WSRM) Technical Committee. "With the WS-Reliability OASIS Standard, information can be shared between software programs over the Internet as reliably as within a single application on a laptop."

Patrick Gannon, president and CEO of OASIS, applauded the efforts of the technical committee members who produced the new standard, recalling, "The genesis for WS-Reliability was submitted to OASIS in March 2003 by Fujitsu, Hitachi, Oracle, NEC, Sonic Software, and Sun Microsystems. These companies recognized the importance of advancing their work within an open process where the entire community of vendors, users, and governments could contribute. Today's approval of WS-Reliability as an OASIS Standard is proof positive that it is possible to garner broad input on the development of a standard and still meet time-to-market needs."

Participation in the OASIS WSRM Technical Committee remains open to all organizations and individuals. End-users and system integrators are invited to join OASIS to participate in the adoption phase of this international standardization effort. OASIS hosts an open mail list for public comment and the ws-reliability-dev mailing list for exchanging information on implementing the standard. WS-Reliability was created by a royalty-free process technical committee within OASIS.

Industry Support for WS-Reliability OASIS Standard


"Fujitsu believes that reliability of messaging is critical to the successful deployment of Web services. For this reason, we have been actively contributing to the design of WS-Reliability, leveraging the technologies and expertise we have accumulated in developing our customers' enterprise systems. We intend to apply this OASIS Standard, not only for Web services, but also in our work relating to the Business Grid Computing Project in Japan, which aims to effectively utilize distributed IT resources on the network in enterprise systems. We are pleased, therefore, to see this reliability technology becoming an OASIS Standard and expect that it will accelerate the adoption of Web services, said Seigo Hirosue, General Manager of the Strategy and Technology Division, Software Group of Fujitsu Limited."


"Hitachi is pleased with the result of the OASIS WS-Reliability standardization efforts. WS-Reliability is critical for extending business processes across a sometimes imperfect internet. Our customers demand perfect operation of Web services applications, and WS-Reliability provides the capability to meet their needs. One project that will see immediate utilization of WS-Reliability is the Business Grid Computing Project supported by Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. This project, jointly developed by Hitachi, Fujitsu, and NEC, which is approaching its third and final year, will generate middleware to encourage the wide deployment of failure tolerant, low cost, and flexible business grids. Innovations such as these will transform Web services technologies from a laboratory curiosity into a commercial reality with daily practical use. WS-Reliability is a fundamental part of this transformation," said Kiyoshi Kozuka, Executive General Manager, Software Division, Hitachi, Ltd.


"NEC is pleased to see WS-Reliability become an OASIS Standard. We are convinced that this standard will accelerate the adoption of Web services in mission critical enterprise applications, where guaranteed and ordered delivery of messages is crucial to the business process. WS-Reliability will also be widely used in the business grid system we are developing, through an activity of the Japan business grid project," said Yosuke Takashima, General Manager of System Platform Software Development Division, NEC Corporation.


"The ability to reliably exchange messages is a fundamental requirement from customers that deploy Web services across enterprise boundaries for collaboration and electronic transactions. Novell supports OASIS in the development of the WS-Reliability standard in order to provide a secure, reliable and manageable Web services platform," said Frank Auger, vice president of product management and marketing for Novell exteNd and Nsure.

Sun Microsystems

"Reliable messaging is a key enabler for broad industry adoption of Web services, and WS-Reliability allows companies to deploy Web services with confidence that information is being exchanged between services with the appropriate level of reliability required for the application. Sun is proud to have been a supporter of WS-Reliability from the beginning, and we look forward to incorporating this technology into our product plans," said Ed Julson, Director of Web Technologies & Standards, Sun Microsystems.

About the OASIS Web Services Reliable Messaging TC

The OASIS Web Services Reliable Messaging Technical Committee (WSRM TC) was chartered in February 2003 to "create a generic and open model for ensuring reliable message delivery for Web services. This TC defines reliable message delivery as the ability to guarantee message delivery to software applications — Web services or Web service client applications — with a chosen level of quality of service (QoS). For this TC effort, QoS will be defined as the ability to determine the following aspects of message delivery: Message persistence; Message acknowledgement and resending; Elimination of duplicate messages; Ordered delivery of messages; Delivery status awareness for sender and receiver applications. The TC will specify rules for combining these features and their parameters...

Essential elements of web services are SOAP and WSDL. The specification to be created will provide WSDL definitions for reliable messaging and the message formats will be specified as SOAP headers and/or body content. The resulting specification must be programming language-neutral and platform-neutral. Lastly, the TC will address the dependencies between the capacity of the messaging nodes (persistence, message processing) and the level of QoS that can be provided...

In no event shall this [WSRM] Technical Committee finalize or approve any technical specification if it believes that the use, distribution, or implementation of such specification would necessarily require the unauthorized infringement of any third party rights known to the Technical Committee, and such third party has not agreed to provide necessary license rights on perpetual, royalty-free, non-discriminatory terms..."

The WSRM TC Chair is Mr. Tom Rutt (Fujitsu). Secretaries [2004-11] include Doug Bunting (Sun Microsystems), Jacques Durand (Fujitsu), Kazunori Iwasa (Fujitsu), Sunil Kunisetty (Oracle), and Mark Peel (Novell).

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