A significant press release was made this morning regarding WS-ReliableMessaging or WS-RM moving one step closer to being an industry standard.

WS-ReliableMessaging (WS-RM) is the first specification to pass through the full WS-* Workshop Process and is now being submitted to OASIS for standardization. Following the successful completion of the third RM Interop Workshop last week, the WS-ReliableMessaging spec is now exiting the WS-* Workshop Process and moves to the next stage of its life – submission to an external standards organization for finalization and ratification as an industry standard. This submission represents a significant milestone in collaboration between co-authors as well as the participation of the industry through WS-* feedback and interop workshops -- to further advance interoperability of Web Services technologies.

 Summaries of previous RM Feedback and Interop Workshops are posted on MSDN:

July 2003 – Reliable Messaging Feedback Workshop http://msdn.microsoft.com/webservices/community/workshops/rmspecwsjul2003.aspx
October 2003 – Reliable Messaging Interop Workshop #1 http://msdn.microsoft.com/webservices/community/workshops/rminteropwsOct2003.aspx
May 2004 – Reliable Messaging Interop Workshop #2
http://msdn.microsoft.com/webservices/community/workshops/rminterop052004.aspx
April 2005 – Reliable Messaging Interop Workshop #3
http://msdn.microsoft.com/webservices/community/workshops/composability042005.aspx
 

An overview of the WS-* Workshop process is available on MSDN if you are not familiar with it, but basically it’s the structured way that Microsoft and industry partners are developing the Web Services (WS-*) specifications. http://msdn.microsoft.com/webservices/default.aspx?pull=/library/en-us/dnwebsrv/html/wkshopprocess.asp.  Over 70 companies have been involved in the workshop process since 2003.

The WS-* workshop process is a method to produce well-engineered, quality Web services specifications. Feedback and interoperability testing by multiple vendors produces specifications that are stable, known to work, and ready for consideration as an industry standard. The WS-* workshop process has many similarities with the process for software development, and is a deliberate attempt to apply the best practices from the software engineering community to the task of producing Web services specifications. WS-* protocol workshops allow the Web services community to be involved in the process of validating and refining Web services specifications.

WS-ReliableMessaging specification home page: http://msdn.microsoft.com/ws/2005/02/ws-reliablemessaging/. This specification (WS-ReliableMessaging) describes a protocol that allows messages to be delivered reliably between distributed applications in the presence of software component, system, or network failures.

The protocol is described in this specification in a transport-independent manner allowing it to be implemented using different network technologies. To support interoperable Web services, a SOAP binding is defined within this specification. The protocol defined in this specification depends upon other Web services specifications for the identification of service endpoint addresses and policies. How these are identified and retrieved are detailed within those specifications and are out of scope for this document.

Reliable message-based communication can be a vital element to enterprise-critical applications. Reliable messaging includes the ability to ensure that a message exchange has been completed correctly with no messages lost or duplicated. For example, within an order processing system, it is critical for the application to know that all items have been received and none have been duplicated. If a client using this application temporarily loses network connectivity during the course of order submission, reliable messaging ensures that the order is received once and only once. In some applications, it can also be important to know the correct sequencing of messages.

The WS-ReliableMessaging protocols, coupled with the other Web services specifications such as those related to security, policy, transactions and coordination, and business process execution language can help to provide a more robust, scalable, secure approach to reliable messaging.

WS-* Workshops Home Page on MSDN http://msdn.microsoft.com/webservices/community/workshops/default.aspx
Overview of the Workshop Process
http://msdn.microsoft.com/webservices/default.aspx?pull=/library/en-us/dnwebsrv/html/wkshopprocess.asp
Workshop Questions & Answers
http://msdn.microsoft.com/webservices/community/workshops/QandA.aspx
BillG Executive E-mail - Building Software That Is Interoperable by Design
http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/execmail/
WS-ReliableMessaging specification
http://msdn.microsoft.com/ws/2005/02/ws-reliablemessaging/
WS-ReliableMessaging Policy specification
http://msdn.microsoft.com/ws/2005/02/ws-rmpolicy/