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Subject: [wsrp] IBM submits mobile standard to OASIS

Anyone know what this is about?

By Ephraim Schwartz 
June 17, 2002

THE MOBILE INFRASTRUCTURE may soon have its own Web services protocol
defining standard methods for presenting enterprise applications on

IBM submitted to the OASIS (Organization for Advancement of Structured
Information Standards) Web services standards body earlier this month a
protocol called WSRP (Web Service Remote Portal) to allow wireless devices
to access portlets. A portlet is any application launched from a portal
server, according to Rod Smith, vice president of Internet Emerging
Technologies, at IBM in Raleigh, N.C.

"WSRP is a standard representation of how to do this presentation on any
handheld device," said Smith.

When a device calls a portal server, WSRP will tell the server how much
screen real estate is available, for example. The portlet aggregates
information to build a page and generates it in XML. WSRP would sit on top
of SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) and WSDL (Web Services Description
Language) layers.

"The idea is to make a portlet Web service-ized, and in this way I can
generate XML interfaces for voice or other interfaces," said Smith.

But while Smith admitted that WSRP and many of the other middleware
protocols are still maturing, one ISV sees the lack of "mature" standards as
a major worry for ISVs.

"This whole world of XML is rapidly becoming a morass of competing standards
which everybody is afraid of," said Tony Meadows, president of Bear River
Associates, in Oakland, Calif. Bear River develops applications for Palm and
Pocket PC devices.

Meadows said he hopes that large enterprise companies will pressure vendors
to agree on standards. With mobile devices becoming critical enterprise
productivity tools, Meadows supports IBM's effort to create a standard
around handheld presentation layers.

"The need for developers to support so many different devices with different
screen sizes is daunting. Palm, Brew, PC 2002, are all different under the
hood and each is evolving in different ways. Palm is going from 160 by 160
black and white display to 240 by 360 with lots of color, and that alone is
a big difference," he said.

Brian R. Young
The Boeing Company
(425) 865-5834
DISCLAIMER: Any opinions expressed in this e-mail are my own and do not
necessarily reflect the position of my company.

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