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The Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM) Standard

Article Description

Is WSDM just another management standard? Or a significant step in the direction of producing manageable web-based systems, software, and networks? Software consultant Stephen Morris looks at the various aspects of the argument.


We haven’t covered every nuance of WSDM in this article. That’s impossible, but I’m sure you’ll agree that we’ve seen enough to make the associated OASIS documents at least comprehensible in terms of the problem WSDM seeks to solve and the way in which the standard goes about solving it.

It’s too soon to say whether WSDM is just a solution looking for a problem—I don’t think so—or whether its foundation is not strong enough because it depends on other work in progress. I think it’s better to have a standard for web service management than to have nothing. The absence of a standard leads to proprietary management approaches, with the consequent problems of vendor lock-in and lack of interoperability—a problem that has bedeviled the telecom sector, where very often even different vendors’ IP routers can’t talk properly to one another. At least with a standard such as WSDM, there’s greater scope for interoperability between different vendors’ products. Maybe the standard has been informed by thinking along those lines? Let’s hope so.

WSDM has a pretty small footprint, so it’s possible that it may be used for managing a wide spectrum of entities: from small resource-constrained devices such as mobile phones and PDAs, to high-end elements such as operating systems and application servers. This might facilitate a simple management model that will allow for ease of implementation, deployment, and utilization.

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