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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sun Metro and .NET WCF Interoperability

The latest interoperability event (a "plugfest") at Microsoft's Redmond
campus showed impressive results for interoperability between future
releases of Sun's Metro Web Services and Windows Communication Foundation
in .NET 3.5. Metro 1.1 FCS is a Web Services framework that provides
tools and infrastructure to develop Web Services solutions for the end
users and middleware developers. With Metro, clients and web services
have a big advantage: the platform independence of the Java programming
language. InfoQ had a chance to talk to Harold Carr, the engineering lead
for enterprise web services interoperability at Sun, about the interop
results. When asked what the relevance of this for Java and .NET developers
would be, Carr highlighted the role of interoperability in general: "Web
services are about wire interoperability, not about the platform they are
implemented in. Therefore, developers, whether using .NET or Java, expect
their services to interoperate. It is relatively straightforward for
platform developers to ensure interoperability for WS-I basic profiles.
But when you add in WS-Policy, WS-Security, WS-Trust, WS-SecureConversation,
WS-ReliableMessaging, etc., the bar for platform implementors gets way
higher. The interop results give transparency into our current development
stage to give people that are planning to use Metro with .NET 3.5
confidence that we will provide an interoperable platform -- rather than
a platform that has only been tested against itself. Reminder: Metro 1.0
already works with .NET 3.0... There are two aspects to consider: the
interop scenarios we test and the deployment of services based on these
specifications. The interop scenarios are very useful, but certainly not
complete -- particularly in reliable messaging. Real deployments will come
up with combinations never tested (either by the interop scenarios tested
at the plugfest or our more extensive in-house testing). Also, .NET 3.0
and Metro 1.0 (both released products) are based on the submission versions
of the WS-* specifications (except for WS-Security, which is standard).
.NET 3.5 (which is released) is based on the standard versions. Metro 1.x,
which will ship later in 2008, will be based on the standard versions
also. All this is a long-winded way to say the standard specs haven't been
used in many deployments based on shipping platforms from different vendors."

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