Friday, April 03, 1998 at 6:50:01 AM Pacific

Netscape and Smart HTTP

This message was posted publicly on April 1 to the w3c-dist-auth@w3.org mail list by Keith Swenson, kswenson@netscape.com:

I will be speaking for 5 minutes in the webDAV meeting on Thursday in the IETF meeting in LA on the following subject, and I thought you might appreciate getting some information in advance of the meeting. (My apologies to those DASL members that are also on this list -- the information below is the same.)

I simply want to introduce my effort to form a working group to define a standard protocol based on HTTP to allow workflow systems to interoperate. A more accurate description might be a "Protocol for Starting and Monitoring Generic Asynchronous Services." Consider that you have a service available somewhere on your net; this protocol is designed to be a standard way to invoke the service, receive an ID for that invocation, and ways to control and monitor that invocation of the service. There is additionally a way to register to receive events with that invocation of the service, and a way to send the event. This protocol is useful both for invoking workflow processes, as well as providing a way to workflow systems to invoke external asynchronous services.

We have a group of companies that are already working on this. We believe that there is great benefit to forming an IETF working group in order to best coordinate this effort with the other similar activities going on within the Applications area of IETF. We believe we want to use XML encoded data sent over HTTP, which is well alligned with the webDAV work (but we want to discuss how satisfied people are with this approach). I have heard that there are others who want to work on the problem of basic event registration and delivery over HTTP, and we would like to see this work coordinated.

For the time being we have a proposal for a working group charter which you can check at a temporary location of:


We have yet to set up a permanent home for this and mailing lists. For now, if you are interested in this area, please let me know at kswenson@netscape.com and I will let you know when we set up the mailing list. We are considering holding a preliminary meeting, May 4-5, 1998 in Costa Mesa, California

This date and place is set to coincide withthe Workflow Managment Coalition meeting at the same location on the 6th through the 8th. Please forward this information to people who may be interested in participating in this effort.

-Keith Swenson

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