Companies link up to test their services against Web standards

David Worthington
December 10, 2008 —  Politics and software sales make strange bedfellows. A business alliance consisting of competing Web service infrastructure software makers, along with some of their clients, has formed to test standards-based integrations through interoperability scenarios. On Monday, the Web Services Test Forum (WSTF) went public with its work. Members tested customer-based scenarios where services must function in multi-vendor environments.

The current roster of WSTF includes Active Endpoints, AIAG, Axway, Cisco, Eviware, Ford, Fujitsu, Hitachi, IBM, Oracle, Red Hat, Software AG, Teamlog and TIBCO.

Standards, including WS-Addressing, WS-ReliableMessaging, WS-Security and WS-Transactions, are being validated by members' products, and the organization has indicated that it intends to work with standards bodies to accelerate the adoption of emerging standards.

"As business demands for multi-enterprise process automation accelerates, the need to test community-based integrations built on standards is critical," said Maureen Fleming, program director of Business Process Automation and Deployment at IDC. "The WSTF promises to be an important initiative for enterprises focused on improving the accuracy and lowering the cost of applications that require this type of interoperability."

Thus far, three scenarios are published on the WSTF website, freely available for review. Five more are under development, said Karla Norsworthy, vice president of software standards at IBM. The tests have found that some developers' standards implementations were not properly handling the nuances of some of the scenarios.

Interoperability scenarios are proposed by clients and members, and are tested after five members agree to implement them. The scenarios are made public after they are validated, she added.

Testing occurs over the Internet, and software makers are responsible for maintaining their own service endpoints, she said. "Anyone anywhere can participate; there is no special labor or traveling."

WSTF's work will improve the responsiveness of software makers, enabling them to identify and fix issues before clients find failures, she said.

Related Search Term(s): standards, testing, Web programming

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