RosettaNet published a Web services
Profile in September 2006. The profile is a critical step RosettaNet took to step away from the close coupling between its PIPs and its proprietary messaging system. The Profile provides guidance on how to implement PIPs using commercially available Web services platforms, and takes into consideration not only services design but also run-time security and reliability requirements. The Profile
pioneered many areas in running Web services in a secure and reliable environment. RosettaNet probably is the first vertical industry consortium that has delivered such a concrete guidance. Personally, I think it’s a great contribution Rosettanet brought to the Web services community.
However, The publication of the profile seems didn’t get the attention it deserves in the Web services community. I spent quite a few months working with colleagues from IBM, Intel, Cisco, and other partners to develop this profile in 2006. As 2006 is coming to its end, I feel obligated to provide a very high level overview of the profile in hoping it can lead more people to check out the profile and use it.
Why yet another profile?
RosettaNet is well-known for its so called Partner Interface Processes® (PIPs) which define business processes between trading partners
in a supply chain.
One problem RosettaNet faced was that PIP implementations required each business partner to support an implementation of the RosettaNet
Implementation Framework (RNIF) which is a RosettaNet proprietary message handling system intended for all XML message payloads defined
within the RosettaNet standards. Although RNIF is fairly robust and is quite widely adopted within the high-tech industry, it’s pretty
expensive to implement and maintain,and was becoming more and more a burden for wider adoption of RosettaNet, especially among small and
Moving forward, RosettaNet wants to focus on business messages and processes standards which are independent of messaging
infrastructures. Toward that direction, it has delivered a set of profiles in 2006 to address the support of RosettaNet XML business
messages and business-to-business (B2B) collaboration over horizontal message handling systems,including Web Services based systems, AS2,
and ebXML. With these profiles, RNIF is no longer required for RosettaNet implementations. This movement makes it much easier for small
companies to participate in RosettaNet based B2B collaboration.
How to map a PIP to Web services?
The Web services profile addresses how to map a PIP to Web services, and how to use Web services to exchange RosettaNet business.
In a nutshell, PIPs are specialized system-to-system XML-based dialogs. Each PIP specification includes a set of well-defined business
documents with semantic descriptions, and a business process with the choreography of the message dialog. For example, PIP 3A1 defines an
interaction between two partners for quote request processing as illustrated in the following diagram.
If this overview has increased your interest in the profile as I was hoping, you can download a copy of the profile here .