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IT-Director: IBM shortcuts the standards process

Jun 02, 2000, 13:41 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Walrus)

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"Standards bodies fulfil a very important role in the industry but the slow speed at which they grind along can sometimes be a bit tedious. A few weeks ago, IBM, Microsoft and a number of others submitted the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) specification to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for consideration as a standard. The purpose of SOAP is to allow Microsoft COM+ components (e.g. written in Visual Basic or C++) to communicate with components that use the competing CORBA standard (commonly written as Enterprise Java Beans, EJBs)."

"Whilst the W3C is mulling over the pros and cons of SOAP as part of its due diligence process, IBM has gone ahead and implemented it in its new SOAP for Java software - claimed to be the first real life incarnation of the specification. In an extremely cheeky move, IBM has now gone on to donate this software to Apache, the non-profit making organisation famous for its ubiquitous open source Web server."

"The fly in the ointment with this bypassing of standards bodies is when powerful vendors abuse their market position and force "standards" onto the world unilaterally. After all, SOAP would not be necessary if Microsoft had fallen in with everyone else behind CORBA rather than persisting with its proprietary alternative."

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