What is UDDI?

Introduction

Welcome to the future of Internet-based application development and deployment. This article will give us an idea about Universal, Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI). What is it ? Why it is an important in the future of Web services standards ? This article explains that UDDI is focused on sharing business information, making it easier for you to publish your preferred means of conducting business, find trading partners and have them find you, and interoperable with these trading partners over the Internet. This artical assumes that you already have knowledge about little bit of HTTP, SOAP, and Web Services.

What is UDDI?

We can see the explosive growth of eCommerce B2B Internet applications in the market. Internet provides opportunities to find new customers, steam-line supply chains, provides new services. Although there is a outstanding growth of B2b eCommerce in the last few years, there is a major impediment which held back its enormous potential to open up business world wide. In order to fully open the doors to these existing business, truly successful business needs that business be able to discover each other, make their needs and capabilities known and integrate services using each business preferred technology, Web services.

When there is no connection between buyers and sellers there is no business in the business place. There should be a way for the business providers to publish the business. So that the subscribers can know about the business and consume them. For the global market to consume the business from the providers they expose their products as services called Web services, so that the consumers can get the business. But here is the question. How will the consumer who wants to consume that particular product knows here is the provider who gives us the business and this is how we have to make use of the provided service. Until now, there is no central way to easily get information about what standards different companies support and no single point of access to all markets of opportunity, allowing them to easily connect to the trading partners. But if eCommerce has to have information about their trading partners and some how connect and bind them.

Now, let us see what solutions we got for this problems. Marketplace, businesses, and directory providers are all attempting to solve these communication and transaction problems, they are all adopting some approaches on their own requirements. The net result is we have many approaches, content and architecture that is preventing the optimum utilization of businesses of all sizes around the world.

Thus the Internet businesses model must change, so that it enables businesses to connect, to discover and reach each other, to learn what capabilities their partners have, and to continuously discover new potential trading partners and seamlessly conduct eCommerce with them. In order to achieve this a solution is needed for businesses to publish their information to any customer or business partner around the world.

Publishing the services like this will make it possible to quickly discover the right trading partners out of millions of other trading partners; to define how to conduct business once the partner is discovered; and to create an industry wide approach for businesses to quickly and easily integrate with their customers and partners on the
Internet with information about their products and services, and how they prefer to be integrated into each other’s systems and business processes.

We need a framework which is flexible, open, yet comprehensive to solve this diversity, encouraging agreement on standards, but also stimulating the innovation and differentiation that is fueling the growth of B2B. This framework has to allow the businesses to describe its services their offer, and how they can be accessed globally over the web. This solution need to go beyond traditional directories, but needs to define standards for how businesses will share the information, what information they need to make public, what information they choose to keep private, and how to describe their services and their business.

Service registry architecture that presents a standard way for businesses to build a registry, query other businesses, and enable those registered businesses to interoperate and share information globally in distributed manner will solve many of the issues and is the solution. Web service along with the public registry will enable marketplace around the world to share the information.

To address this, a group of technology and business leaders have come up to develop the Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI) specification. This creates a global, platform-independent, open framework to enable business to discover each other, define how they interact over Internet, and share information in a global registry.

UDDI is a building block to enable businesses to quickly, easily and dynamically find and transact with one another via their preferred applications. UDDI helps or allows any size company just entering the online space to accelerate toward a world-class business presence.

The UDDI specification takes advantage of World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standards such as Extensible Markup Language (XML), HTTP, and Domain Name System (DNS) protocols. Cross platform programming features are addressed by adopting Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) messaging specification found at the W3C Web site.

The UDDI specification takes advantage of World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standards such as Extensible Markup Language (XML), HTTP, and Domain Name System (DNS) protocols. Cross platform programming features are addressed by adopting Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) messaging specification found at the W3C Web site.

A UDDI business registration consists of three components:

  • White Pages — address, contact, and known identifiers;
  • Yellow Pages — industrial categorizations based on standard
    taxonomies;
  • Green Pages — technical information about services exposed by the
    business.

Web definitions of UDDI

  • UDDI is a XML-based protocol that provides a distributed directory that enables businesses to list themselves on the Internet and discover other services. Similar to a telephone number, businesses can list themselves by name, product, location, or the Web services they offer.
  • Universal description, discovery and integration (UDDI) is a an online directory that gives businesses and organizations a uniform way to describe their services, discover other companies’ services and understand the methods required to conduct business with a specific company.
  • Universal Description Discovery and Integration is a directory model for web services. UDDI is a specification for maintaining standardized directories of information about web services, recording their capabilities, location and requirements in a universally recognized format. Seen (with SOAP and WSDL) as one of the three foundation standards of web services.

UDDI: Layered View

UDDI uses standards-based technologies such as TCP/IP, HTTP, XML and SOAP to create a uniform service description format and service discovery protocol. The following diagram depicts this layered view.

Technical discovery layer

The below diagram shows the relationship between the specifications, the XML schema and the UDDI business registry.
UDDI business registry — “register once, publish everywhere” access to information about Web Services.

The UDDI specifications and schema are used to build discovery services on the Internet. These discovery services provide a consistent publishing interface and allow programmatic discovery of services.

Using the UDDI discovery services, businesses register information about the Web Services that they expose for use by other businesses. This information can be added to the UDDI registry either via a Web site or by using tools that make use of the programmatic interfaces described in UDDI programmer’s API Specification. Once the information is registered in the registry the information about the registered service is freely available to other businesses who needs to discover what Web services are exposed by a given business.

UDDI and Business discovery

UDDI complements marketplace and search engines by providing standard formats for programmatic business and service discovery. The below figure shows the relationship between the technical discovery layers defined by UDDI and the role of aggregation and specialized search capabilities that address business level searches.

UDDI Publishing and discovery

Conclusion

UDDI is all about sharing business information, making easier to publish your preferred means of doing business, finding and have them find you, and interoperable with these trading partners over Internet.

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About Krishna Srinivasan

He is Founder and Chief Editor of JavaBeat. He has more than 8+ years of experience on developing Web applications. He writes about Spring, DOJO, JSF, Hibernate and many other emerging technologies in this blog.

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