Members of the OASIS international standards consortium have begun work on a specification to enable the control and monitoring of asynchronous or long-running Web services.
The OASIS Asynchronous Service Access Protocol (ASAP) Technical Committee is developing an extension of the World Wide Web Consortium’s Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) that will accommodate latency between the request for a resource or service and its actual return. ASAP is applicable for areas as diverse as workflow, business process management, e-commerce, data mining, and mobile wireless devices.
‘Not all services are instantaneous – especially when transactions involve human intervention or approval,’ observed Jeffrey Ricker, chair of the OASIS ASAP Technical Committee. ‘Probably the biggest breakthrough ASAP can offer is the ability to treat manual processes as Web services. Mass integration need no longer be held hostage by the weakest link. Mass integration can proceed without waiting for full automation of every process in every organisation.’
‘ASAP represents a simple but critical component of Web services,’ noted Karl Best, vice president of OASIS. ‘Technical Committee members intend to incorporate full compatibility between ASAP and both the ebXML Message Services OASIS Standard and the OASIS Web Services Reliable Messaging specification to ensure the accurate delivery of transactions.’
‘Asynchronous communication among Web services is critical to both the simplification of enterprise application integration and the facilitation of next-generation business models,’ said Gavenraj Sodhi, eTrust product manager at Computer Associates. ‘CA is actively participating in the enablement of this asynchronous communication by supporting standards efforts and incorporating those standards into our industry-leading Web services management, security, and provisioning solutions.’
‘The ultimate killer app of the Internet is email, and it is not an accident that it is completely asynchronous. Pervasive enterprise-grade XML web services will require protocols to work the same way that enterprise apps do – asynchronously, reliably and securely. We believe the OASIS ASAP effort can deliver a simple, pragmatic solution for DataPower customers deploying XML-aware networks,’ said Eugene Kuznetsov, chairman and CTO, DataPower.
‘ASAP will be a key ingredient for linking Busness Process Management servers and Enterprise Application Integration servers to each other and to legacy systems. Openly developed standards in this area should make it much easier to link different process technologies together, lowering the overall cost of system integration and allowing for more effective automation of business processes,’ said Keith Swenson, Chief Architect Fujitsu Software.
OASIS ASAP Technical Committee members include representatives of Computer Associates, DataPower, Fujitsu, and others. Participation remains open to all organisations and individuals, and OASIS provides mechanisms for public review and comment. Founded in 1993, OASIS has more than 2,500 participants representing over 600 organizations and individual members in 100 countries.