Web services security specification- a chronology

This document describes the process used to develop the Web services security specifications.


Non-OASIS activities

In April 2002, IBM, Microsoft, and VeriSign proposed the Web Services Security (WS-Security) specification on their Web sites. This specification included the basic ideas of security token, XML signature, and XML encryption. The specification also defined the format for username tokens and encoded binary security tokens. After some discussion and an interoperability test based on the specification, the following issues were noted:

In August 2002, IBM, Microsoft, and VeriSign published the Web Services Security Addendum, which attempted to address the previously listed issues. The following solutions were put in the addendum:


OASIS activities

In June 2002, the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) received a proposed Web services security specification from IBM, Microsoft, and Verisign. The Web Services Security Technical Committee (WSS TC) was organized at OASIS soon after the submission. The technical committee included many companies including IBM, Microsoft, VeriSign, Sun Microsystems, and BEA Systems.

In September 2002, WSS TC published its first specification, Web Services Security Core Specification, Working Draft 01. This specification included the contents of both the original Web services security specification and its addendum.

The coverage of the technical committee became larger as the discussion proceeded. Since the Web Services Security Core Specification allows arbitrary types of security tokens, proposals were published as profiles. The profiles described the method for embedding tokens, including Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) tokens and Kerberos tokens imbedded into the Web services security messages. Subsequently, the definitions of the usage for user name tokens and X.509 binary security tokens, which were defined in the original Web Services Security Specification, were divided into the profiles.

WAS supports the following specifications:

The current support level for Web services security: SOAP message security is based on Draft 13 from May 2003. The current support level for Web services security User name token profiles, is based on Draft 2 from February 2003.


See Also

Web services security and Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition security relationship
Web services security model in WAS
Web services security support