Web Services Reliability Specification Published by Leading IT Vendors

by David A. Chappell

Related link: http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/030109/sfth041_1.html

Finally we will have an open standards-based platform-neutral way of doing reliable messaging for Web services. WS-Reliability offers an asynchronous reliable messaging protocol at the SOAP envelope level.

This is a very exciting project to be working on. At the moment it is a spec that was initially developed by a group of six companies (Oracle, Sun, Fujitsu, Sonic, Hitachi, NEC). We plan to take it to a standards body very soon and form a working group or technical committee. I can't say which standards body until it actually happens, but we are going through that process right now. We are looking forward to participation from other vendors when that step becomes official. We are already getting contacted by numerous companies who are interested in joining in. Keep your eyes open for upcoming events.

WS-Reliability includes well known characteristics of reliable messaging such as guaranteed delivery, duplicate message elimination, and message ordering. Delivery options such as at-least-once, at-most-once, and exactly-once are available. Things like message expiration and delivery retries are also possible.

WS-Reliability is a SOAP-based asynchronous reliable messaging protocol. This means that the spec defines a set of SOAP envelope headers that govern the behavior of the senders and the receivers. While an HTTP binding is provided, WS-Reliability is a level above, or independent of, the underlying protocol.

There's an article that I wrote about WS-Reliablility that is now posted at Web Services Journal

A current copy of the spec, along with the schema, can be downloaded from the Sonic Software site, or any of the other participating companies' web sites.


As always, your comments and feedback are welcome.