• United States



by Paul Kerstein

Microsoft Hails Security Focus in Web services Package

Nov 04, 20053 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Microsoft on Monday is releasing an upgrade to its free WSE (WebServices Enhancements) package for Windows developers, focusing onsecurity.

An add-on component to Visual Studio 2005 and the .Net Framework 2.0,WSE 3.0 “dramatically simplifies the development of secure Webservices,” said Ari Bixhorn, director Web services strategy atMicrosoft. WSE 3.0 also serves as a prelude to the planned WindowsCommunication Foundation (WCF) for Web services, formerly known asIndigo, which is planned for inclusion in the Vista release of Windowsin 2006, Bixhorn said.

“Developers are going to see a 30 percent improvement in theperformance of their Web services, upgrading from WSE 2.0 to WSE 3.0,”Bixhorn said.

The package includes turnkey security profiles. “What those do is allowdevelopers to build five of the most common secure Web servicesscenarios with just a few clicks of a mouse,” Bixhorn said. One profilefeatures the building of a secure Web service that can be called viathe Internet using a name and password.

“Developers are going to benefit greatly from these profiles because[they] dramatically reduce the amount of code that they have to writeto build secure Web services,” Bixhorn said.

“WSE 3.0 is really a bridge,” to Indigo, said a user of the package,Andy Neilson, a senior software architect at Kinaxis, which developssoftware for manufacturers.

WSE technology has helped Kinaxis make its application flexible,according to Neilson. “The problem with security is that it’s not aone-size-fits-all problem,” he said. Different clients have differentrequirements, Neilson noted. “What’s different about what’s in WSE andIndigo and Web services in general is [they] allow you to say, ’That’ssomething we can configure later,’ ” without having to rewrite theapplication itself, Neilson said.

Also featured in WSE 3.0 is expanded support for WS-* (pronounced “WSstar”) Web services specifications. MTOM (Message TransmissionOptimization Mechanism) support is included for building secure Webservices that include attachments such as documents or media files.MTOM supercedes the previous WS-Attachments specification.

Updated support for the WS-SecureConversation and WS-Trustspecifications is also in WSE 3.0, offering better performance,according to Bixhorn.

WSE 3.0 also supports 64-bit Windows platforms and allows for buildingWeb services that can communicate across a variety of protocols,including TCP, HTTP, and custom protocols. Web services built using WSE3.0 will be interoperable with WCF when that ships.

“The fact that WSE 3.0 is an add-on to Visual Studio 2005 and .Net 2.0and released alongside Visual Studio 2005 is actually one of itsstrengths,” said Jason Bloomberg, senior analyst at ZapThink, in ane-mail. “Developers who leverage these technologies will benefit by thegreater consistency across the tools. For developers looking to workwith WCF, they will also see consistency in the programming model andAPI from WSE to WCF.”

By Paul Krill – InfoWorld (US online)