OASIS works on specs for asynchronous Web services

ORLANDO (10/21/2003) - The OASIS standards body is in the early stages of building a specification that will handle asynchrony for Web services.

The ASAP (Asynchronous Service Access Protocol) technical committee began regular meetings in early September and the plan is to continue them on a regular basis, according to Keith Swenson, an author of the specification. Swenson is also the chief architect of Fujitsu Software Ltd.'s Interstage, an integration middleware suite.

Swenson detailed ASAP in an interview with InfoWorld here at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo conference.

"ASAP is a standard for long-running Web services," Swenson said. He described a long-running Web service as one in which a call is made, but the call back does not happen in real-time. For instance, when someone orders a book online, it takes a couple days to fill the order and then send the book out.

During that time, ASAP enables the customer to check the status of that order and to cancel it up to a specified point, or ask the Web service to call back when the order is fulfilled via any of the transport mechanisms that SOAP supports.

To achieve this, ASAP works with another of the evolving standards, Web Services Reliable Messaging, which ensures that the messages sent back and forth are delivered.

In addition to Swenson, the other two authors are Moshe Silverstein of iWay Software Inc. and Jeffrey Ricker, who is listed as an individual member.

"The goal is nine months to have a draft that is out for review," Swenson said.

He added that although ASAP is new to OASIS, the effort has been under way for six years.

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