Red Hat eyes REST standardization

Company looks to work with vendors like IBM and Microsoft to define standards or recommendations

Red Hat is seeking REST standardization through an effort it is calling REST-*,  which could serve as a counterpoint to the alternative WS-* specifications for Web services.

With REST-* (pronounced rest star), Red Hat wants to work with major vendors, including IBM and Microsoft, to define standards or recommendations for REST-based system integration. "I think this actually is a very, very important thing for us in the future because REST is not going to go away," said Mark Little, CTO of the JBoss unit at Red Hat, in a presentation at the JBoss World conference in Chicago on Thursday afternoon.

[ Red Hat has been emphasized cloud computing at the Red Hat Summit conference. ]

WS-* Web services, he said, have become complex. Little added he himself co-wrote some Web services specifications. "Maybe REST is a better way of doing certainly Internet-scale integration, but one of the problems of REST is it lacks clear guidelines," for enterprise capabilities, such as security, transactions, and high availability, said Little.

REST "is essentially the architectural principle on which the Web is based," Little said. The REST-* effort might end up documenting what already exists, said Little, who also is Red Hat vice president of middleware.

In a separate development, Red Hat also has a community-based open source project to enable testable architectures or process governance, called the Savara Project, Little said. "It's essentially a way of defining the distributed interactions in a distributed system and testing that the implementations conform to your expectations," said Little. Testing would be done before and after deployment, he said.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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