Resources Galore Help Developers with Microsoft's WSDK

Last week, Microsoft released a "technical preview" of its Web Services Development Kit (WSDK), ahead of the general release late this fall. Key elements of the WSDK are aimed at providing developers with the first codesets to help them build services that use proposed workflow standards (including WS-Routing and WS-Referral). To jumpstart developers, Integration Developer News has provided a one-stop round-up on Microsoft WSDL resources.

Tags: SOAP Messages, Developers, WSDK, Web Services, Microsoft, Message Path, WS-Routing,

To jumpstart developers, Integration Developer News has provided a one-stop round-up on Microsoft WSDL resources.

Getting Started
The Microsoft code and backgrounders is available here. Microsoft has also posted a WSDK newsgroup where you can get answers from fellow developers.

Notable WSDK Features
Notable features in this edition of Microsoft's WSDK are: (1) classes for enabling encryption and signing of SOAP message payloads, (2) classes for DIME (Direct Internet Message Encapsulation), and (3) Microsoft's first implementation of parts of the WS-I suite of proposed standards (namely WS-Routing, WS-Referral and WS-Attachments) first offered by IBM and Microsoft last October.

The point of these added features is to enable developers to more efficiently connect their current web services to other systems run within their enterprise, or with their partners, customers and suppliers. Here's a thumbnail guide to how developers could use these WS-specs in building out their web services resources:

WS-Routing provides an approach for handling asynchronous SOAP messages. It defines a SOAP Header that contains information about a message path, and thereby provides routing information for sending and receiving SOAP messages involving SOAP intermediaries. This spec works for variety of transports like TCP, UDP, and HTTP. [Additionally, With WS-Routing, the entire message path for a SOAP message (as well as its return path) can be described directly within the SOAP envelope. It supports one-way messaging, two-way messaging such as request/response and peer-to-peer conversations, and long running dialogs.] Sample code is also available from .

WS-Referral is a protocol that enables dynamic routing of SOAP messages. While SOAP itself provides a distributed processing model where SOAP messages can have content destined for specific processing nodes, WS-Routing adds the capability of describing the actual message path. [In specific, WS-Referral provides a mechanism to dynamically configure SOAP nodes in a message path to define how they should handle a SOAP message. It is a configuration protocol that enables SOAP nodes to delegate part or all of their processing responsibility to other SOAP nodes.]

WS-Attachmentsdefines an abstract model for SOAP attachments and, based on this model, defines a mechanism for encapsulating a SOAP message and zero or more attachments in a DIME message. SOAP attachments are described using the notion of a compound document structure consisting of a primary SOAP message and zero or more related documents known as attachments.

More Microsoft WSDK Resources and Links
As you might expect, the web is brimming with code, context and commentary on this latest technology infusion from Microsoft. IDN brings you a global review of the best and brightest.
  • A Hands-on "Test Drive of the Microsoft's WSDK"is available from Roger Jennings, a principal of OakLeaf Systems, and columnist for Fawcett Technical Publications. His review of the technical elements of the WSDK is without question one of the most thorough IDN has seen -- and covers just about every element that a developer would need to know about, including how to get acquainted with the WSDK -- from download, install, application development, client configuration and deployment.

  • Developers can get a "self-guided demo" of what they'll see in the Microsoft WSDK, also thanks to Roger Jennings (see above) and his colleagues at Oakleaf Systems. With the simple click of one button, developers can consume the sample XML Web service built from the WSDK Technical Preview from the OakLeaf Web server

  • The developer team at, led by Dan Wahlin of Wahlin Consulting, LLC has put together three great hands-on, self-guided WSDK tutorials to deliver important services for node-to-node operations. You can check out how to: (1) Authenticate SOAP Messages with a User Name and Password; (2) Digitally Sign SOAP Messages; and (3) Encrypt SOAP Messages

  • Getting your web services' bearings. The 451 research/analyst firm offers an interesting "big picture" view of the WSDK landscape. Provided courtesy of "The Analyst Views" website, the report highligths the trade-offs faced by developers in the "marketing" competition between Microsoft, IBM and Sun. A case in point: Even as the report cites that Microsoft's WSDK may be late (compared to those WSDKs offered by Sun and IBM), the report also notes that lateness may be an asset as it allows Microsoft to include more of the security features being asked for by developers.
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  • For basic VB developers, a growing library of Microsoft WSDK-related materials in support of migrating to and working with .NET Framework technologies can be found at LearnXmlWS (the WS standards for Web Services). LearnXmlWS is dedicated to providing Web services resources for VB developers. Yasser Shohoud founded LearnXmlWS as a community for VB developers building and using Web services. Shohoud is also the author of Building Web Services with VB.

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