Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

IBM and Microsoft face WS-critics

Filed under
Misc

The title of the five-person panel debate at the Digital ID World conference was "Federated Standards: The State of Convergence". The answer, if there was one, was that there will be no broad convergence. Not any time soon, anyway.

The debate, which got quite heated, boiled down to people asking Microsoft and IBM to develop their WS- specs in the open, where any interested vendor can contribute, and Microsoft and IBM declining, saying such processes are not suitable.

"It's not necessarily the optimal process for everything," said John Shewchuk, chief technology officer of Microsoft's Distributed Systems Group. "What comes out at the end may not meet our technical objectives as a vendor."

For several years, Microsoft and IBM have been working on WS- specs, such as WS-Security and WS-Trust, to enable interoperable web services. While some other vendors help out, the process is strictly invitation-only.

When a spec is mostly finished, it is submitted to OASIS, Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards, but sometimes it will conflict with work already done by others, and differences need to be ironed out.

Recently, for example, there was a clash within OASIS between the Oracle-Hitachi- Fujitsu WS-Reliability and the Microsoft-IBM-BEA-Tibco WS-Reliable Exchange. The two groups will reportedly work to converge them.

It gets more confusing in the digital identity space, where there's also the Liberty Alliance, which works on standard specifications for federating identities between domains, enabling single sign-on.

"Everybody has enough invested now that they can't just get up and walk away from it," said Intel's George Goodman, on the panel in his capacity as Liberty president. "It's hard to see convergence... at this point we have to focus on interoperability."

Developers expressed frustration that the companies creating the specs cannot come to an agreement on converging them, and are basically leaving it up to buyers to decide whether to implement one, the other, or both.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

4 things governments need to know to adopt open source cloud - Red Hat

Open source cloud platforms, like OpenStack, can allow public sector agencies to connect systems and share data easily. Here are four things governments need to know to make open source cloud a success. Read more

Open source key to preserving human history, argues Vatican

Ammenti explained that, in order for the manuscripts to be readable, the Vatican Library opted for open source tools that do not require proprietary platforms, such as Microsoft Office, to be read. "We save it as a picture as it's longer life than a file. You don't rely on PowerPoint or Word. In 50 years they can still just look at it," he said. Read more

Open Source Router Connects US, Australia

The ONOS Project and partners said Wednesday they have demonstrated the real-world practicality of using a router with open source software to connect networks in Australia and the US. The test validates the vision of SDN, open source for carriers, as well as ON.Lab's ONOS network operating system, according to one of its coordinators. "SDN is about disaggregation of closed, proprietary boxes and separating of forwarding planes, control planes and applications," says Guru Parulkar, executive director and board member of ON.Lab , which coordinates ONOS development. The communications test between Australia and the US achieved just that, he says. (See ON.Lab Aims to Make White Boxes Carrier-Grade , ON.Lab Intros Open Source SDN OS and SK Telecom Bets on SDN for Wireless.) Read more

Xubuntu Core 15.04 Officially Released, Not Related to Ubuntu Core

A new official Xubuntu flavor called "core" has been announced by developers. It's based on Ubuntu, and it integrates the Xfce desktop environment and nothing else. Read more