WS-I Basic Security Profile Has Been Released

Posted on 04/12/2007 ,

The final version of Basic Security Profile 1.0 (BSP) was recently been released by WS-I. This is certainly a welcome event; WS-Security is broad and complex and it has been plagued by interoperability issues for quite some time (although the situation has improved in the last year or so). The BSP document seems to have pretty good level of details with plenty of good examples that are easy to follow.

I looked at a few messages generated by Axis used in conjunction with Apache WS-Security implementation called Rampart and at the first glance they seem to be compliant with BSP, although all my examples use WS-Security username token profile, which is the simplest form of passing credentials with WS-Security.

As an example, Rampart generates the correct form of the password tag, which includes "type" attribute (this attribute is not mandated by WS-Security, however, it is required by BSB):

<wsse:Password
      Type="http://docs.oasis-open.org/wss/2004/01/oasis-200401-wss-username-token-profile-1.0#PasswordDigest">
      B5twk47KwSrjeg==
   </wsse:Password>

BSP is going to make the use of WS-Security more widespread, although this is not going to happen overnight. Currently, none of the public Web services (Yahoo, Ebay, Amazon) use WS-Security, which is not surprising since the standard is not fully supported by such languages as PHP, Python and Ruby (although some aspects of WS-Security are supported in PHP). Even platforms for commercial services, such as StrikeIron, don't use it (StrikeIron does support WS-Security for communication between its broker and service providers, but not for client calls).

In any event, I'm pretty confident that we can count on rising WS-Security adoption in an enterprise.

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