Press Release

Members Approve WS-Context as OASIS Standard

ESI Acquisition, IONA, Oracle, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems and Others Define Open Framework for Supporting Transactional Web Services Compositions

Boston, MA, USA; 25 April 2007 — OASIS, the international standards consortium, today announced that its members have approved Web Services Context (WS-Context) version 1.0 as an OASIS Standard, a status that signifies the highest level of ratification. WS-Context defines an open framework for supporting coordinated and transactional compositions of multiple Web services applications. The new standard is offered on a Royalty-Free basis, as provided under OASIS policies.

"When Web services are used in combination, the ability to set the boundaries of an activity (such as start/end or success/failure) and to inform participants of changes to activities become extremely important," explained Eric Newcomer of IONA Technologies, co-chair of the OASIS Web Services Composite Application Framework (WS-CAF) Technical Committee. "WS-Context provides standard, interoperable ways to demarcate and coordinate Web services activities. Business process transactions can be recovered predictably and consistently with WS-Context, and the standard allows participants to define their relationships with one another."

"WS-Context ensures that multiple Web services deployed in a variety of execution environments behave as if they are deployed in a single, consistent environment," added Martin Chapman of Oracle, co-chair of the OASIS WS-CAF Technical Committee. "For example, an organization’s Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) may require security information, conversational session information, database and file handles and process IDs, among other services, to be shared across multiple execution environments built on different platforms. WS-Context ensures that the Java, .NET, and other Web services in the enterprise all behave similarly and as expected at runtime."

"A wide variety of applications that involve workflow or business-to-business interactions will benefit from the composability that WS-Context delivers," observed OASIS president and CEO, Patrick Gannon. "We congratulate the members of the OASIS WS-CAF Technical Committee for their work in advancing this important addition to the growing list of Web services standards."

WS-Context was developed by representatives of ESI Acquisition, IONA, Oracle, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, and other members of OASIS. Werner Enterprises, Red Hat, and IONA all verified successful usage of WS-Context, in accordance with eligibility requirements for OASIS Standards.

WS-Context and the archives of the OASIS WS-CAF Technical Committee are publicly accessible. OASIS hosts the ws-context-dev mail list for exchanging information on implementing the standard.

Support for WS-Context OASIS Standard
IONA "Shared state management across communication sessions becomes increasingly important as SOA deployments incorporate a greater number of existing systems and execution environments, and as Web services include additional qualities of service. WS-Context is unique in providing support for both the SOAP header and REST based approaches. WS-Context is also unique in providing a common mechanism for shared session state for such qualities of service as reliability, availability, security, and transactions, to name a few. The approval of WS-Context as an OASIS standard is an important step toward standardizing this important SOA capability," explained Eric Newcomer, CTO, IONA Technologies.

Oracle "WS-Context is a vital element to support compatibility of Web services by providing a common mechanism to manage contextual data. As active participants, Oracle is pleased to see its original contribution progressed through committee and interoperability work to an approved OASIS Standard. This further illustrates Oracle’s commitment to driving industry standards," said Don Deutsch, vice president Standards Architecture and Strategy, Oracle.

Red Hat "WS-Context is a key component of the evolving Web services architecture. Over the years of its development, we’ve seen how using context is critical to ensuring Web services retain the loosely coupled scalable nature and bridging the gap between REST and Web services approaches. Red Hat is pleased to have been involved with the technical committee and glad to see WS-Context become a standard," said Mark Little, Director of Standards for Red Hat.

Additional information:
WS-Context OASIS Standard:
OASIS WS-CAF Technical Committee:
WS-Context developers mail list:

About OASIS:

OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) is a not-for-profit, international consortium that drives the development, convergence, and adoption of e-business standards. Members themselves set the OASIS technical agenda, using a lightweight, open process expressly designed to promote industry consensus and unite disparate efforts. The consortium produces open standards for Web services, security, e-business, and standardization efforts in the public sector and for application-specific markets. Founded in 1993, OASIS has more than 5,000 participants representing over 600 organizations and individual members in 100 countries.

Press contact: Carol Geyer OASIS Director of Communications +1.978.667.5115 x209 (office) +1.941.284.0403 (mobile)