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Microsoft Corp., IBM and friends introduced a new Web services standard and enhanced another, extending the tandem’s might in the Web services standardization arena while raising caution for some in the space.

Microsoft, IBM, BEA Systems Inc. and SAP AG on Tuesday announced the publication of the WS-MetadataExchange specification. In addition, Microsoft, IBM and BEA announced an update to the existing WS-Addressing specification. Both specifications are part of an existing Web services architecture laid out by Microsoft.

According to Microsoft, the WS-MetadataExchange specification expands the current Web services architecture to govern the transfer of metadata, enabling endpoints to leverage other Web services specifications for secure, reliable, transacted message delivery.

Meanwhile, the update to the WS-Addressing specification enables messaging systems to support message transmission in a transport-neutral manner through networks, including networks with processing nodes, such as endpoint managers, firewalls and gateways, Microsoft officials said. The changes reflect community feedback and experience gained by vendors in implementing the technology and from interoperability workshops, company officials said. The changes include an improved definition-of-request reply and a new WSDL (Web Services Description Language) binding and fault codes, Microsoft officials said.

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