Thursday, April 24, 2008

Paper accepted at the IEEE Symposium on SOA Standards

Paper Title: Standardizing Web Services: Overcoming ‘Design by Committee’

Web service standards, like several other IT standards, are anticipatory, i.e., they are designed and codified in anticipation of actual adoption and use. As a result, the setting of web service standards takes on properties that resemble the designing of software artifacts. In contrast, the traditional perspective on standards views them as law-like systems that legislate modes of
behavior, product structures or specifications. The two perspectives – ‘design’ and ‘legislation’ – can sometimes be at odds. In the software engineering community, the phrase ‘design by committee’ has come to symbolize designs that are not effective, not elegant and not addressing issues that are core to the original intentions. Current efforts and recent outcomes in web
services standards appear to have overcome this taboo. We demonstrate, with the help of an empirical study, how the participants interact, and the roles they take on to produce web service standards.

Authors: Sandeep Purao, John Bagby, and Karthikeyan Umapathy

This paper will be published in the IEEE Symposium on SOA Standards, which will be held along with IEEE Services 2008 conference.