August 8, 2007 11:51 AM PDT

IBM chides Microsoft over SOA

IBM has criticized Microsoft over its approach to service-oriented architecture, saying the software giant offers a "lightweight messaging infrastructure."

Service-oriented architecture, or SOA, links business applications to provide services. By creating an architecture where applications communicate with each other, using protocols including Extensible Markup Language (XML), the aim is to enhance business processes. SOA requires open standards to link applications. These can be produced by third-party vendors or in-house.

IBM said on Monday that Microsoft's approach to SOA was stymied by its emphasis on linking Microsoft-compatible processes.

"We're doing all platforms, all applications," IBM Software Group executive Steven Mills told ZDNet UK. "We're integrating everything. Microsoft is trying to provide connectivity capabilities for those that are running on Windows platforms. That's a profound difference."

"Their perspective is how to make Windows environments connect, as long as you're using Microsoft technology. Our view is: how do you make every environment connect whether you are using Microsoft or anyone else's technology," Mills said.

Mills claimed there is a "big difference" between IBM and Microsoft's approaches, saying that, in contrast to Microsoft, IBM uses open standards for XML and Web services.

XML is used in SOA to describe both the data in the applications and the metadata necessary for the interaction between the applications.

Is Microsoft's OOXML still proprietary?
Microsoft and IBM have tussled over XML standards. Microsoft favors Office Open XML (OOXML), which was originally developed in-house at Microsoft.

Microsoft wants OOXML to be accepted as an ISO standard. It insists that OOXML, having gained certification from standards organization Ecma International, is now an Ecma concern, and no longer a proprietary standard.

Microsoft is one of the major technology players that participate in Ecma, along with IBM. IBM, however, uses and favors OpenDocument Format (ODF), an ISO-certified, open-source standard. The ODF Alliance and many in the open-source community argue that OOXML is proprietary.

Mills provided further contrast between IBM and Microsoft, saying that, in SOA, IBM takes vertical approaches to automation around inventory management and transaction control, and makes these horizontal processes.

"We want to be frictionless in transactions as we rethink business-processes models," said Mills. "Transaction integrity requires sustained access flow, and Microsoft doesn't do that. Microsoft is about passing messages from one Windows-based system to another, not about involving the transaction function.

"SOA is not just about the message-passing architecture, which is why Microsoft SOA is significantly different from IBM," he added. "The (Microsoft Developer Network) mechanism is a lightweight messaging infrastructure in a message-based environment, whereas IBM delivers a fully functioning infrastructure."

Microsoft was unvailable to comment at the time of writing.

Tom Espiner of ZDNet UK reported from London.

See more CNET content tagged:
SOA, OpenDocument Format, IBM Corp., ECMA, XML

32 comments

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Who Says Elephants Cannot Dance!
"Service-oriented architecture, or SOA, links business applications to provide services. By creating an architecture where applications communicate with each other, using protocols including Extensible Markup Language (XML), the aim is to enhance business processes. SOA requires open standards to link applications. These can be produced by third-party vendors or in-house...." The way to go IBM -- You lead and let others like those from the "Redmond Campus" follow or drop out of the race completely!
Posted by Commander_Spock (3123 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Did you know
that Microsoft SOA web services actually serve XML files?

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.service-architecture.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.service-architecture.com/</a>

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.service-architecture.com/xml/articles/index.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.service-architecture.com/xml/articles/index.html</a>

IBM says they use the XML language for their web servers. Now you say that "Redmond Campus" or Microsoft should follow using the XML language or drop out of the race?

Did you know that Microsoft Web Services use XML?

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/issues/07/04/ServiceStation/" target="_newWindow">http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/issues/07/04/ServiceStation/</a>

Yes, indeed they have since Visual Studio 2002 when ASP.NET was developed.

Next time, do a little research before you attempt an "End Zone Dance" with elephants.
Posted by Troll Hard (182 comments )
Link Flag
SOA? How about the FUD?
That's what I'd chide 'em over.

SHOW US THE CODE!
Really, though, I don't give a crap what Microsoft does. Happy OSS user. Soon, I hope to help develop as well. Let the revolution roll.

Information demands freedom.
Posted by ethana2 (348 comments )
Reply Link Flag
"SHOW US THE CODE!"!
Who cares so much about the Source-Codes when enhancements to "OS/2 WARP" (the best OS there was) are all that needs to be accomplished!
Posted by Commander_Spock (3123 comments )
Link Flag
Web services use XML files and the XML language
it isn't really that hard to read an XML file and interpret the XML language.

Any language that uses regular expressions can easily parse out XML files and streams.

All Microsoft did with OOXML was compress the XML file into a zip file, you just have your program unzip the zip file and read the XML file(s) in it.

The only thing innovative about OOXML was adding in the compression to save on the bandwidth. Zip is an open standard compression method, and XML is an open standard document format.

I don't really see what the big deal here is, IBM is just upset that they didn't think to compress the data first, and Microsoft came up with that idea first instead of IBM. IBM says the grapes must be sour, anyone remember that story?
Posted by Troll Hard (182 comments )
Link Flag
What's new? How to become a Billionaire...
Sell cheap (sub cost) products to entice.
Lock 'em in with proprietary formats.

People bought into it. Now they can't extricate themselves.
Posted by technewsjunkie (1265 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Is Microsoft's OOXML still proprietary?
Water's wet, the sky is blue, and, imo, MS is never going to do
anything that allows a level playing field.

Seems like the more MS tries to force their format, the more
resistance they face.

Maybe there is hope for real open standards.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2007-08/07/" target="_newWindow">http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2007-08/07/</a>
content_5449032.htm
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft's mission accomplished -- or at least, almost
"...OOXML, having gained certification from standards organization Ecma International, is now an Ecma concern, and no longer a proprietary standard." So it is certified as a standard by an organization dedicated to computer standards: the European Computer Manufacturer's Association. For one thing, tension between Microsoft and Europe MIGHT decrease this way...
Posted by giuliocesare (49 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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