The Future of UDDI
The companies that came together to establish UDDI realized that the specification would need to go through several versions for it to be truly useful. Therefore, they laid out a roadmap for at least the first three versions of UDDI:
Version 1, released in September 2000, included three taxonomies and basic descriptions of services as well as provided registration services for business units.
Version 2, rolled out as a public draft in June 2001, adds additional taxonomies, provides support for layered services, and is intended to provide registration ser-vices for corporations with multiple divisions.
Version 3, now scheduled for a December 2001 release, adds support for custom taxonomies and workflows and will provide registration services for a wide range of associations.
Once version 3 is released, the UDDI Consortium intends to turn the project over to a third-party standards body.
Because the version 2 specification is now available, it is possible to take a closer look. Version 2 will enable the following:
Descriptions of complex organizations. Businesses will now be able to describe and publish their internal organizational structure, including their business units, departments, divisions, and subsidiaries.
Improved support for internationalization. Businesses will now have more flexibil-ity in describing their business and services in multiple languages and locales.
Additional categorization and identifier schemes. Businesses will now be able to use additional industry-specific categories and identifiers to describe their businesses, pro-viding additional vertical market support. It will be possible to validate these addi-tional categories during registration through third parties such as industry associations.
Richer searching options. Businesses will now be able to search registries using more expressive query parameters, using more fields, and using more complex combinations of fields.
Furthermore, there are some additional API calls in version 2 that support the new notion of publisherAssertions. A publisherAssertion describes the relationship between two specific registered businesses. New publication API messages include add_publisherAssertions, set_publisherAssertions, and delete_
➥ publisherAssertions for managing publisherAssertions. The inquiry API adds the get_publisherAssertions message as well as a find_relatedBusinesses
and a get_assertionStatusReport call.
So, assuming the technologies included in UDDI mature and companies worldwide are able to publish their Web Services to the network of public UDDI registries, will UDDI enable one global e-marketplace? Possibly, but it is likely that UDDI will find its best use in other contexts. Here are some examples of how UDDI registries might participate in the world of global commerce:
Corporate registries that provide a central repository of information about a single enterprise’s Web Services. Essentially, this is an intranet model of a UDDI registry.
UDDI registries that form an integral part of a vendor’s enterprise offering. For example, a CRM or ERP vendor might re-architect its offering as a collection of loosely coupled Web Services, each registered in the package’s own UDDI registry.
An “extranet” application of a UDDI registry put up by one company for use by itself and its business partners.
Private e-marketplaces are likely candidates for hosting their own UDDI registries. Each e-marketplace can qualify entries into the registry, providing a guarantee of quality and financial stability to its members.
Industry consortia or Better Business Bureau–type organizations may host their own UDDI registries, offering either Web Services specific to particular vertical markets or Web Services from companies that have undergone a particular approval process.
Finally, this list wouldn’t be complete without including the global, universally available network of UDDI registries. Clearly, companies will be reluctant to invoke Web Services listed in such a registry without either a preexisting relation-ship with the Web Services provider or some kind of authentication or approval provided beforehand by a third party.
So, how will UDDI be used in the future? Only time will tell. There is no question, however, that the technology is positioned to provide value in many different business situations.