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OASIS WS-RM closes

by Mark Little on May 03, 2007 |
Back in 2003 at the height of the WS-* Wars (Oracle+Fujistsu+IONA+Arjuna+Others versus the Evil Empire of IBM+Microsoft+BEA), there were two competing specifications for reliable messaging for Web Services. As was typical at that time (and still is to an extent), the forces for Good took their specification, WS-Reliability (a bad name since reliability encompasses more than reliable message delivery) to OASIS and created the WS-RM technical committee, whilst the Empire rallied its forces behind closed doors.

The WS-RM technical committee was very active over the intervening years, producing standards and improving on its capabilities. There were even some implementations. However, the competing specification was always out there delaying market acceptance of any other specification or standard in the same space. This has been common over the years: anything in Web Services without the IBM and Microsoft backing finds it hard to make progress, particularly if they are competing with those vendors.

As such, when IBM, Microsoft and others announced the new OASIS WS-RX technical committee (with many of the members from OASIS WS-RM), that pretty much sounded the death-knell for the competing standard. That doesn't mean that the OASIS WS-RM effort was wasted: some of the experiences learnt while developing it have influenced WS-RX and it hasn't been a rubber-stamping excercise by any means. But we are now 4 years since both of these specifications were released and there is still no agreed standard for Web Services reliable messaging. You can't help wonder what could have been achieved if more cooperation had been available in 2003 rather than in 2006.

Finally, the WS-RM technical committee didn't go out with a bang.
Per the OASIS IPR Transition Policy, all technical committees that do
not successfully complete an IPR Transition to one
of the new modes (RF on Limited Terms, RF on RAND Terms, or RAND) by 15
April 2007, and were not granted a special
exception by the OASIS Board of Directors, must close.

The Web Services Reliable Messaging (WSRM) TC did not successfully
complete an IPR Transition and is therefore now
closed.

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