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Major players come together on Web Services

IBM and Microsoft, together with some fifty additional industry leaders, have formed a new Web Services Interoperability Organization "committed to promoting interoperability among Web services based on common, industry-accepted definitions and related XML standards support."

The new organisation (WS-I) will spin off working groups to produce specific sets of deliverables such as testing tools, sample services, and resources to assist developers.

Web Services are one of the key technologies being discussed for future learning systems. Web Services allow programs to communicate directly with one another using XML and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) to provide "seamless integration"; the technology is being actively considered by the IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS) for its next generation of learning technology specifications.

Members of WS-I include: Accenture, Akamai Technologies, Autodesk, BEA Systems, Borland, Business Objects, Cape Clear, Commerce One, CommerceQuest, Compaq, Corechange, Corillian, Daimler Chrysler, Dassault Systemes, Epicentric, Epicor, ESRI, FileNET, Flamenco Networks, Ford Motor Company, FrontRANGE Solutions, GrandCentral, Groove, Hewlett-Packard, IBM Corporation, Intel, Iona, JamCracker, JD Edwards and Company, KANA, Loudcloud, Macromedia, McAfee, Microsoft, Onyx, Peregrine Systems, Pivotal, Plumtree, POSC, Qwest, RealNames, Reed Elsivier, Reuters, Sabre, SAP Corporation, SAS, Sybase, Toshiba, Verisign, Versata, and webMethods.

Additional members are also expected to join.

For more information on WS-I, visit the WS-I website. See also our article on creating web services using SOAP.

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