All I want for …

All I want for … – From The Editor

Sean Rhody

It’s not unusual for the January issue of a magazine to have a column discussing the past, or predicting the future. This year, I thought we might try something a little different. Rather than reminisce or prognosticate, I thought I’d toss out my list of Web service needs in the form of a holiday wish list. Here goes:

Wish 1: A unified security standard. SAML, WS-Security, I don’t much care which, but I want a single standard to prevail, so that we can all get past the “Web services aren’t secure” issue and get on with the real work. Let’s have the implementers innovate around a single standard instead of dancing around trying to support competing standards, or waiting on the sidelines for the dust to settle.

Wish 2: A better UDDI. UDDI is too much of an all-or-nothing technology. You publish something publicly and the whole world knows. Almost no one wants that type of visibility. That’s one of the reasons why people are either using private UDDI registries or foregoing UDDI altogether. Even in private registries, this causes problems when you have a segmented user community. UDDI should work seamlessly with the security standard (see Wish 1) to allow creation of private communities within the same UDDI tree. And don’t tell me I can do this with multiple UDDI servers–that’s a workaround, not a solution.

Wish 3: A simple definition of Web services that the world can agree on. Even our advisory board has trouble with a single definition. Given the issues with UDDI (see Wish 2), it’s hardly surprising that we can’t agree on that. Add to that the fact that SOAP is really a transport mechanism that can be replaced with other technologies and things just get too murky to even put forth an opinion. Can’t we all just get along?

Most people only get three wishes, but I’m feeling really good about 2003, so I’ll throw out a few more for good measure.

Wish 4: OASIS, W3C, and WS-I should merge into a single standards body, preferably run by me. Seriously, the competing standards we deal with are impeding everyone’s progress (see Wish 1). A single group, like the JCP, would provide a better path toward innovation without churn.

Wish 5: A cross-platform development tool so that I never have to look at WSDL or UDDI entries again in my life. Honestly, it’s like looking at HTML code. I can, but why should I have to unless there’s a problem I need to debug? Of course, such a tool has to work with Visual Studio as well as all the Java tools so I know I’m wishing in vain here. But I want something to let me construct WSDL and UDDI entries graphically, and then let the other IDEs generate the starting code structures, rather than developing code first, then WSDL and UDDI would be a gigantic step in the right direction.

Wish 6: An economic upturn. While this is not specific to Web services, as the saying goes “a rising tide lifts all boats.” With a return to prosperity, all of the things we’re looking for will come at a faster pace, spurred on by revived business needs. And everyone just feels better in a growing economy.

Thanks for listening to my wish list, and for reading Web Services Journal. On behalf of my staff and all of SYS-CON, I’d like to extend my personal best wishes to you and yours for the coming year.

Happy New Year, and good reading.

Sean Rhody is the editor-in-chief of Web Services Journal. He is a respected industry expert and a consultant with a leading Internet service company.

SEAN@SYS-CON.COM

COPYRIGHT 2003 Sys-Con Publications, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group