Sun Microsystems, which had been shut out of the Web Services Interoperability Organisation (WS-I) board and thus had refused to join the organisation, is joining WS-I as a contributing member and intends to run for the group's policy-making board in March 2003.
Founded in February, WS-I is intended to be an open industry effort to promote Web services interoperability across platforms, applications, and programming languages. But Sun, which invented Java, a leading deployment platform for Web services, had not been part of the organisation. IBM and Microsoft spearheaded the formation of WS-I but did not invite Sun to participate, according to Sun officials. The company had the option to join but chose not to because it could not serve on the board.
Now that Sun can become a WS-I board member, as per recently approved by-laws, it is signing up.
"From day one, we've been supportive of WS-I and the work they're doing with interoperability. That hasn't been the issue. Our issue has been the governance model that has not allowed Sun to participate in WS-I," said Ed Julson, Sun group marketing manager for Web services standards and technologies.
"I think we're a credible player in the industry. We have a long history of innovation in the standards arena and driving network computing," Julson said.
Sun intends to promote Web services standards at organisations such as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and then align that work on converged standards with WS-I profiles, Julson said.
"Over the past six to eight months, Web services standards have completely exploded in terms of complexity so we have a situation now where we have this tremendous number of specifications, which in many cases are overlapping. We have to reduce this complexity and converge the overlapping specifications," said Julson.
A Microsoft official welcomed Sun aboard.
"I can tell you Microsoft welcomes participation from third parties in the WS-I, and we look forward to working with Sun and others in the WS-I to drive the industry forward," said Dan Hay, lead product manager for Visual Studio .Net. The company declined further comment.
BEA Systems, IBM, Oracle, and WS-I itself, in prepared statements released by Sun, also welcomed Sun to the organisation.