IBM Boosts Web Services with New Technologies for Developers and Service Providers


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SOMERS, NY - 07 Jan 2002: IBM today announced tools that allow developers and service providers to easily create, host and monitor Web services. The Web Services Hosting Technology, the Web Services Gateway, and the Web Services Toolkit (WSTK) 3.0 are available for free, trial download on alphaWorks, ( www.alphaWorks.ibm.com), the destination for IBM emerging technology.

IBM's Web Services Hosting Technology is a set of management tools that support revenue generating Web services. Web Services Hosting Technology is designed specifically for software developers and service providers, empowering them to bring Web services to a hosted environment regardless of the actual Web services implementation. It also supports the provisioning and metering of Web services without requiring code changes, decreasing time to market and development expenses for an ISV or service provider. In addition, Web Services Hosting Technology allows service providers to develop an integrated billing model to help them more easily track usage and collect revenue for the services.

As a method to provision and meter Web services, Web Services Hosting Technology enables service providers to do the following:

-Create models which associate a set of Web services with billing rates.

-Present available offers to registered users for subscription.

-Provide a subscriber workspace for self-administration and Web service access.

-Automatically verify user authorization and generate billing during Web service invocation.

-Invoice subscribers based on usage charges calculated by the rating service.

For example, Web Services Hosting Technology can enable a business to host a new online Web service, and make it available via a public or private UDDI registry site. Businesses can then set up accounts using Web Services Hosting Technology to track usage of the Web service and bill accordingly.

"Web Services Hosting Technology is the first IBM alphaWorks release demonstrating an end-to-end Web services hosting scenario," said Bob Sutor, director of e-business standards strategy, IBM. "It provides increased opportunity for developers and service providers to provision and meter Web services without changing code or the actual service implementation. Web Services Hosting Technology is key to help introduce the concept of hosted Web services to the development community."

In addition to Web Services Hosting Technology, the following complementary tools and technologies are now available:

Web Services Gateway
The Web Services Gateway is a new technology that provides a more secure environment for Web services across firewalls. It acts as a bridge between service providers and service requestors and is a single point of control and access for a set of Web services. The Web Services Gateway also allows the interception of service invocations between Internet and Intranet environments, enabling developers to create intermediaries which act on the message abstraction rather than requiring the creation of new interceptors for each access channel.

Web Services Toolkit 3.0
Web Services Toolkit (WSTK) 3.0 is the latest offering of Web services technology which provides developers with a runtime environment, examples to design and execute Web services, and introductory material to get started with Web services development. The first version of the IBM WSTK was posted on alphaWorks in July 2000.

The WSTK 3.0 consolidates Web services-related technologies from various IBM development and research labs. The functions of the WSTK are based on specifications such as SOAP, WSDL, WS-Inspection and UDDI and run on both Linux and Windows operating systems. New features and functions in the WSTK 3.0 include:

-Common utility services - Utility Web Services provide common infrastructure functionality to business services, allowing developers of business services to focus on their business domains rather than on support issues. Example utility services provided in the WSTK include: Metering, Accounting, Contract, Common Data, Notification, and Identity Services. Web Services Hosting Technology builds on these services to support the hosting scenario.

-SoapConnect for LotusScript - SoapConnect enables LotusScript applications in Lotus Domino and Notes to consume Web services. It is a partial implementation of the SOAP v1.1 standard for the LotusScript language. SoapConnect provides new LotusScript classes for constructing SOAP messages, invoking SOAP services, and using the returned data.

-WSDLdoc utility - The WSDLdoc utility parses a WSDL document and produces HTML documentation that describes the Web service operations in an easy-to-read format.

-Apache AXIS (SOAP 3.0) support - Apache AXIS is the third generation of Apache SOAP, and all of the IBM Web services demos have been upgraded to this version. In addition, several new Web services features in AXIS are demonstrated in the WSTK 3.0, such as an attachment for RPC and messaging.

-UDDI4J v2 preview - This client-side Java API communicates with the recently announced UDDI v2 registries from IBM, Microsoft, HP and SAP. UDDI4J v2 conforms to the UDDI v2 specification.

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