UDDI Gets Facelift

UPDATE: The third version of the key Web services technology proffers more support for private implementations rather than focusing on public directories.
The concept of Web services has continued to evolve over the past two years since it was first introduced, but the clearest indication to date of the new thinking on Web services may just be a new version of one of its oldest technologies: the UDDI , or Universal Description, Discovery and Integration specification.

UDDI Version 3, which the UDDI.org Project plans to submit to the OASIS standards consortium on Tuesday, takes a new tack through changes that gear UDDI for internal deployments behind the firewall, rather than as public registries that would act as a sort of Yellow Pages for Web services.

"Version 3 provides the opportunity to make and mold UDDI registries for different purposes in different contexts, while maintaining a standard interoperable foundation," said Chris Kurt, general program manager of UDDI.org, and a group product manager for Web services standards at Microsoft. "Additional features and enhancements, such as those in the areas of security and internalization, are now included per requirements of implementers and end users, including the entire UDDI community."

The technology was first proposed by Microsoft , IBM and Ariba about two years ago with the intention that there would be several public UDDI directories in which companies could list their Web services.

But the public UDDI directories have been slow to catch on, and many analysts have suggested that businesses would be more willing to deploy UDDI behind the firewall and use it internally, before branching out to business partners, suppliers and customers. To satisfy that sort of demand, UDDI.org has made a number of changes to the specification to make it easier for organizations to do just that.

UDDI 3 includes multi-registry topologies, increased security features, improved WSDL support, a new subscription API and core information model advances intended to offer clients and implementers a comprehensive blueprint of a description and discovery foundation for a variety of Web services architectures.

The support for multi-registry topologies gives users the ability to take Web services registrations from a local registry and promote them to a private or public registry. In addition, the new version of UDDI supports XML-based digital signatures and allows UDDI operations to manage XML-based policies for improved security. Meanwhile, the new subscription API and information model allows UDDI users to receive proactive notifications on services and changes to the UDDI registry.

As part of the new focus, UDDI.org will reportedly bring its 220 members under the OASIS consortium banner. As part of OASIS, UDDI.org hopes to extend the reach of the UDDI technology by tapping OASIS' international membership.

"Delivering version 3 of the UDDI specification marks the culmination of two years worth of work by hundreds of companies," Kurt said. "It's time for UDDI to take the next step toward standardization, and the transition to OASIS is happening as new features and enhancements appear that better meet the requirements of implementers and end users."

OASIS will assume responsibility for the UDDI project and continued technical work on the specification. The consortium said existing business registries will continue to be made available by registry operators.






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