Information about Universal Description, Discovery and Integration
What is UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration)
There are four layers in the Web Services Protocal Stack, one of these is Service Discovery. This fourth layer is made up with what we call UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration) web services. In a UDDI registry you can find company information as well as all web services offered by a commpany. These UDDI registries reside on what is known as a UDDI server. Think of this as a sort of a computerized Yellow Pages where you can go to look up information about a company. UDDI can also refer to a generic group of technical standards which are used to register businesses and create these sort of registries.
Diving Deeper Into UDDI
This job as a standard of technical specifications for registering businesses and web services that is most important. UDDI is still somewhat in its infancy stage and not everyone has begun to implement these standards, but it has set up a blueprint for the future development of web services.
Pretty much everything that has to do with web services utilizes XML (Extensible Markup Language). It is in XML that UDDI data is stored. Using XML allows UDDI registries simple to use interoperability between computers regardless of platforms. (For example, data can be passed between users on a Linux machine and a Windows machine with ease). This ability is possible not only with UDDI but with web services in general. This is part of the reason for the popularity of web services.
Like everything else that has to do with web services, UDDI consists of data stored in an XML (Extensible Markup Language) format. This gives UDDI registries interoperability between any combination of servers without regard to specific platforms. This ability is key to the usefulness not only of UDDI but web services in general.
But the web services UDDI has stored would be unfindable if there were not ways to retrieve the data. UDDI also contains the API (Application Program Interface) details which allow not only for the retrieval of old data but the publishing of new data within the UDDI system.
UDDI Business Registry
A very important question remains, however. Don’t we need to know how to discover web services using UDDI? Where do we go? What do we do? How do I get the most out of UDDI web services, check here?
Until January 12th, 2006 there was a good answer to this. The Microsoft UDDI business registry. Launched in May of 2001 with IBM, this UDDI business registry was the largest and in fact really only of its kind, a massive, universal business registry. By the end of it there were over 50,000 entries maintained in the registry.
However in January of 2006 the project was discontinued. It was jointly felt by both Microsoft and IBM that the goals they had set out to achieve had been achieved. They had created a viable, workable system that would allow anyone to create UDDI registries of their own using the newest and tested specifications of UDDI.
For the almost 5 years the Microsoft/IBM UDDI business registry was in operation, it served as the one-stop source for anyone to be able to browse through company listings as well as find out about various web services offered. For businesses it was simple and easy to register their own business as well as list the web services they had to offer. In its wake there is no clear leader in the development of such a universal registry, although there are still UDDI registries to be found on the Internet.
Arrangement of Data in UDDI
In order to better explain the features of UDDI and how data is stored within a UDDI system it is good to use the analogy of a phone book. Although a UDDI registry is not itself a book, it does often contain much the same information as a phone book, plus more. We can break down the information contained in a UDDI business registry into three categories.
White Pages UDDI White Pages provide general information on a company or business. This is just like you would expect to find in any phone book or general company directory. Listed will be business name, address, person within the company to contact and most likely a phone number and or e-mail. This is the most commonly used function of UDDI registries.
Yellow Pages Yellow Pages, just like the Yellow Pages in the phone book, categorize companies based on business type and general services offered. This is really no different at all from our normal Yellow Pages.
Green Pages The Green Pages can be the most difficult part of the UDDI to read through. It is here that the technical specifications of the web services offered by a company are listed, and through the Green Pages you are able to search out a business based solely on the web services they have available. This is not the most commonly utilized branch of UDDI, however it is the heart of UDDI as it is what really sets it apart from just another company registry.
Getting The Most Out Of UDDI
Unfortunately for the average computer user it can be difficult to make use of UDDI registries these days, as they can be difficult to find. With the lost of the Microsoft/IBM business registry there is no clear leader in the world of UDDI registries. However the concept of UDDI has been proven: it can serve to provide a massive, easy to use directory listing companies and all of their web services in a manner that is easy to access and has great cross-platform interoperability. A UDDI server can be placed on any server, it doesn’t matter, and its flexibility crosses almost all computer boundaries. One can assume that we shall be seeing many more UDDI web services in the future.