Another significant milestone has been reached by the Web services community — the Web Services Reliable Messaging (WS RM) specifications are now available for public review. These specifications are developed by the OASIS Web Services Reliable Exchange Technical Committee (WS-RX TC). I had the pleasure of co-chairing this TC, which got formed in Jun 2005 and received one of the broadest industry participations in the standards community. Over 140 members belonging to some 50 plus companies were subscribed to the TC. Typical number of members attending the weekly conf-calls was about 50. SAP actively participated in developing and editing the specifications. In addition, a significant number of companies (including SAP) also participated in interoperability testing of early implementations of the Committee Drafts. The first round of Interop testing was held in Mar 2006 and was quite successful. Efforts for the second round of Interop to test the latest drafts are currently ongoing in parallel to the public review. From a technical standpoint, standardization of Web services reliable messaging is a critical step towards the maturity and enterprise readiness of Web services. Numerous blogs and articles have been written on this topic, so I won’t repeat much here. In a nutshell, as the name suggests, reliable messaging is to allow the higher layers to rely upon the messaging layer for assuring delivery of the messages to their destination. Resending each message until an Ack is received, detecting duplicates, and ensuring ordering of the messages are the typical challenges in this regard. WS RM is a Web services based protocol to enable implementations to meet these challenges in an interoperable manner, that is, the actual endpoints exchanging messages may be hosted on different platform/runtimes or even across enterprise boundaries. Besides the core functionality, the WS RM specifications support scenarios such as reliable messaging with clients behind a fire wall and also address the security aspects. So, please take some time to review these specifications and make sure to submit your comments before Oct 21st, 2006 (when the public review period ends). Here is a link to the Public Review announcement that includes pointers to the specifications and provides details of how to submit comments, etc.