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The World Wide Web Consortium's Web Service Architecture Group is developing a formal Web services architecture (WSA). The recently published WSA working draft identifies the architecture's essential functional blocks and their interrelationships, and endorses SOAP and WSDL as the fundamental technologies required to claim WSA-conformance. ebXML is a top-down effort to standardize the B2B-integration environment. We offer an overview of the WSA and ebXML, followed by a detailed comparison of each technology's messaging layer functions using the WSA's conceptual architecture (CA) as a criteria for comparison. Although messaging is only one of the CA's three major blocks (along with description and discovery), we focus on it here because current Web services technologies are the most mature in this area. A detailed comparison of its messaging function with that of bottom-up Web services reveals considerable common ground.
Date of Publication: May-June 2003