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Draft definition of WS

From: David Booth <dbooth@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2003 18:16:45 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: www-ws-arch@w3.org

We have results from the straw poll we just did on the definition of "Web 
service" and the scope of our architecture[1].

1. Tieing the definition and scope.
The first question asked whether we should tie our definition of "Web 
service" to the scope of our architecture.  (I.e., should we attempt to 
define the term "Web service" in a way that reflects the scope of our 
architecture, rather than more broadly?)

The results of the poll indicated that the WG is pretty evenly split on 
this question.   In a (desperate?) attempt at achieving agreement, I 
propose the following compromise: (1) that we define the term "Web service" 
in a way that attempts to reflect the scope of our architecture; BUT (2) 
that we acknowledge that the term means many things to many people, and 
that other documents may use the term more broadly.

2. Proposed wording for WS definition.
With the above in mind, and based on the results from the rest of the poll, 
here is my proposed wording for inclusion in section 1.5 of our document, 
which introduces the concept of "Web service" and defines the term.

There are many things that might reasonably be called "Web services" in the 
world at large.  Indeed, there may be as many definitions of the term as 
there are products!  However, for the purpose of this architecture, and 
without prejudice toward other definitions that may differ, we will use the 
following definition.

A Web service is a software system, designed to support machine-to-machine 
interaction over a network, that is identified by a URI, and whose public 
interfaces are described in a machine-processable format (WSDL). Other 
systems may interact with the Web service in a manner prescribed by its 
description, typically using XML-based messages conveyed using HTTP, SOAP, 
and other Web-related standards.


1. http://www.w3.org/2002/09/wbs/34341/WSAScope/results

David Booth
W3C Fellow / Hewlett-Packard
Telephone: +1.617.253.1273
Received on Thursday, 24 July 2003 18:20:11 UTC

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