Is the WSTF one Web services forum too many?

Is the WSTF one Web services forum too many?

IBM and Oracle, among others, back the new organization focused on testing, but questions are raised about redundancies with an existing group

"Yes, in some ways this is redundant with the efforts of the WS-I, but then again, the WS-I hasn't been doing much in the past few years. In fact, it's pretty notable how absent the WS-I has been from SOA efforts in the past few years," said Ronald Schmelzer, senior analyst at ZapThink. "The fact that we would need a new organization to focus on interoperability scenarios says much about the inability for the industry to come to any long-term agreement on these things."

Schmelzer suggested that perhaps a consortium of large IT buyers might be better equipped to champion interoperability than IT vendors.

Web services has been intended to allow for standard interoperability across systems via specifications such as SOAP and XML. The concept certainly has spawned its share of standardization efforts. Companies including Microsoft led development of the WS-* specifications for interoperability while OASIS and World Wide Web Consortium also have handled standards efforts.

Indeed, WS-* and SOAP-based Web services have had their critics, such as David Heinemeier Hansson, founder of the popular Ruby on Rails Web framework. He has advocated REST Web services as offering a simplified alternative. WS-* even has been derisively called "ws death star" by opponents. WSTF can ponder REST-based scenarios, Norsworthy said.

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