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ANN: Language and Tool for Advertising and Discovering Web Services

From: William A. Nagy <nagy@watson.ibm.com>
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2000 15:48:58 -0400
Message-Id: <200009261948.PAA02578@sp1n190at0.watson.ibm.com>
To: xml-dist-app@w3.org
The Advertisement and Discovery of Services (ADS) mechanisms build
upon existing technologies (XML, HTML, WSDL) to enable services
providers to advertise the availability of their services to potential
customers.  ADS allows for service description information to be
aggregated and made available in a well known location, as well as
providing a method for creating direct links between content and
related services.  Both of these mechanisms allow for the harvesting
of services information in a manner which should be familiar to the
users/creators of today's web crawlers.  In addition, it is easy to
see how linking services directly to content can reduce the amount of
work necessary to further automate many commonly occurring
transactions on the Web.

ADS does not preclude the use of a more structured directory system,
such as UDDI, but instead complements it by providing another
alternative by which services offerings can be announced.  In fact,
the ADS mechanisms could even be used to populate a UDDI node.
Because ADS uses much of the same information that is contained within
a UDDI entry, enabling services for discovery through the ADS
mechanisms requires minimal additional work.

The current version of the IBM Web Services Toolkit
(http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/webservicestoolkit), is enabled
for ADS advertisement and discovery.  The WSTK contains a limited
version of a web crawler which understands how to harvest ADS related
information, and all of the demos within the toolkit contain
advertisements announcing their availability.  The crawler works by
traversing HTML pages, starting with those designated at its startup,
looking for service advertisements.  When it locates an advertisement,
the crawler registers the newly discovered service description
information with a running WSTK Service Broker.

A more detailed description of ADS may be found in the ADS Whitepaper
contained within the latest release of the IBM Web Services Toolkit.

-Bill Nagy
Received on Tuesday, 26 September 2000 15:49:02 UTC

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