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Anne Thomas Manes

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Top Stories by Anne Thomas Manes

Do you have a .NET Passport identity? You may not realize it, but chances are reasonably high that you do. If you have a HotMail or MSN account, Microsoft assigned a Passport identity to you automatically. Microsoft claims to have more than 160 million users registered in the Passport identity service. Pretty soon you'll need a Passport ID to have any interaction with Microsoft. In December 2001, quite a few gamesters were surprised to discover that their old accounts at the Microsoft Zone gaming site wouldn't work without a Passport ID. Microsoft also requires a Passport ID to join MSDN, to register for a Microsoft seminar, or to access Microsoft's node in the UDDI public registry. The new Windows XP Product Activation (WPA) system uses Passport by default. You can also use your Passport ID to log in to your XP system. So just what does a Passport identity do for you... (more)

WS-I and W3C

IBM and Microsoft recently launched another Web services-related effort - the Web Services Interoperability Organization (www.ws-i.org), or WS-I for short. Its charter is to promote Web services interoperability across platforms, operating systems, and programming languages. I, for one, view interoperability as absolutely critical to the success of Web services technology. I don't think I'm alone in the view, since more than 60 companies joined the consortium within the first week. Obviously the formation of this group is a "good thing." So I was a bit amused by the immediate de... (more)

SOAP and Security

Based on the number of questions I get on the subject, quite a few people think that SOAP isn't secure. It's a bit hard to answer these questions because SOAP is neither secure nor insecure. It's not within the scope of SOAP to implement security. SOAP is simply a mechanism to package information to send between two applications. Even so, it's easy to secure SOAP messages, and SOAP provides an extensible mechanism that allows you to convey security information in your messages. Security is a complicated topic, so let me start by explaining the basic goals of security when dealin... (more)

Registering a Web Service in UDDI

UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration) is a registry for Web services. It provides a mechanism to advertise and discover Web services. Although you don't need to use UDDI to implement a Web services solution, you'll find that a UDDI registry greatly simplifies the management and administration of your services, particularly once they have reached a certain critical mass. Once you've developed more than a few services, and once you start giving access to those services to more than a few controlled individuals, management starts to get more challenging. Potential... (more)

The State of Standards

There is an old saying among standards wonks: "The most wonderful thing about standards is that there are so many of them." And this truism is more applicable today than ever before. There are so many WS-* specifications, I've started referring to them as WS-Vertigo. But there is a reason that there are so many of them. The Web Services Framework (WSF) relies on a composable architecture. One of the primary tenets of the WSF is to keep things as simple as possible. Therefore, if an application doesn't require security, reliability, or transactions, you shouldn't clutter up the i... (more)