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Re: [ontolog-forum] ebxml

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Ed Barkmeyer <edbark@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2008 12:40:44 -0500
Message-id: <478CF01C.7080008@xxxxxxxx>
Duane Nickull wrote:
> There are those who think so however I believe that the current WS=* stack
> has surpassed ebXML in terms of functionality and readiness.     (01)

Our recent experience tells us that is not really true.  Basic 
webservices are now pretty much interoperable over a dozen or so 
different libraries and app servers, .net typically being an exception.    (02)

But the communications capabilities you need for business includes 
Service Addressing, Reliable Messaging, and Basic Security = encryption 
and signature.  Addressing usually works, interoperable reliable 
messaging works on a few platforms, basic security is nearly 
non-existent (.net being the exception).  So, no, 8 years later, the 
technical community still has not stepped up to defining, developing and 
implementing the needed standards to support e-business.    (03)

(And part of the reason for the problem is that these additional 
communications requirements are not something you can wrap inside a SOAP 
message, so you can just use your off-the-shelf WSDL/SOAP implementation 
and add on to it.  These aspects must be integrated into the SOAP 
wrapper and the SOAP library.  All the solid Webservice implementations 
were just SOAP versions of CORBA, DCOM or Java/RMI, and to integrate 
these services they had to be redesigned, and they had to work around 
HTTP, which is an encumbrance for peer-to-peer communication.)    (04)

> The WS world
> basically absorbed the ebXML functionality so it is not dead, it just lives
> on in that form.
> Having another stack is probably a waste of effort if one works now.    (05)

This I completely agree with, in both regards.  If we are going to get 
the envisaged functionalities (or whatever is really needed), they will 
be built over "webservices", because it is at least the nominal and de 
facto standard.  And the last thing we need right now is yet another 
messaging standard.  The sequence DCE - CORBA - Java/RMI - SOAP 
(webservices) was all about securing niches for vendors without 
providing any real change in functionality (although one does see some 
progress in lifting the designers' noses out of the bits).  ebMS was 
just yet another, and the only reason it isn't on the list was its 
timing -- anyone who didn't build to WSDL/SOAP was guaranteed to lose 
their market to Microsoft and IBM.    (06)

One other observation.  AFAIK, almost all commercial use of webservices 
in 2007 "outside the walls" (where interoperability counts) was purely 
as wrappers for structured messages, a la EDIFACT, OAGIS, etc.  And that 
is what distinguished ebMS from the "remote procedure call" (aka "object 
interface") concepts in the "webservice" forerunners.  The SOAP standard 
supports both -- what goes "on the wire" for a remote procedure call is 
a structured message.    (07)

-Ed    (08)

Edward J. Barkmeyer                        Email: edbark@xxxxxxxx
National Institute of Standards & Technology
Manufacturing Systems Integration Division
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8263                Tel: +1 301-975-3528
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8263                FAX: +1 301-975-4694    (09)

"The opinions expressed above do not reflect consensus of NIST,
  and have not been reviewed by any Government authority."    (010)

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