Writes Jon Udell in InfoWorld:
For years the industry has dreamed of modeling business processes in software and combining them like Tinker Toys. Web services orchestration, the new term for that old idea, becomes more interesting as raw services multiply behind firewalls. But as integration vendors point out, the orchestration layers of the Web services stack aren’t yet baked. The standards pioneers — Microsoft, IBM, and now Sun Microsystems and BEA Systems — are busy in the kitchen.
Two proposed XML grammars for describing the orchestration of Web services — Microsoft’s XLANG, used by BizTalk, and IBM’s WSFL (Web Services Flow Language) — were widely expected to have merged by now into a joint World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) submission. That hasn’t happened. Meanwhile, Sun, BEA, SAP, and Intalio have introduced a third candidate: WSCI (Web Service Choreography Interface). The relationships among these three proposals — and others, including Intalio’s BPML (Business Process Markup Language) and ebXML’s BPSS (Business Process Schema Specification) — are murky.