Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Microsoft commits to Web Service Openness

There has been quite a bit of noise going across the wires after Microsoft announced they they are allowing anyone to use their patents with respect to several key WS-* standards. Its their Open Specification Promise. It only covers those patents described in detail (rather than referenced) which is a bit of a shame, but its a big step in the right direction to removing ridiculous patent blockers to technology adoption.

It includes WSDL, so I'm assuming that applies to any WSDL specification, and a whole heap of the latest and greatest standards that people will begin to want to use.

Nice one Microsoft, just one small question...

What about BPEL? Is it that there are no Microsoft patents in this area, or that these aren't being opened up yet?

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Neil Macehiter said...

Very good point re BPEL. This comes from Jorgen Thelin at Microsoft (

WS-Security : SAML Token Profile - This was omitted by mistake - as were a few other WSS token profiles when we re-checked the list. See, even Microsoft folks can goof up once in a while! ;-)
So, the following specs have now been added to the list at
WS-Security: SAML Token profile
WS-Security: Kerberos Token Profile
WS-Security: Rights Expression Language (REL) Token Profile

WS-PolicyAssertions - That spec was deprecated / superseded back in 2004 and replaced with domain specific policy specs like WS-RMPolicy and WS-SecurityPolicy

BPEL4WS - We are still evaluating opportunities to extend the covered specifications in this and other areas

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