Development Methodologies

A Web service is a mechanism for communicating messages between two autonomous information systems in an open architecture, such as service-oriented architecture (SOA). Web Services Interoperability (WS-I) and the Web Services Description Language (WSDL) are critical components of SOA in that they provide a contract between the two organizations that are involved with an information exchange project. This contract essentially prepares the information that the sending agency has agreed to send to the receiving agency, as well as defining the circumstances in which the information is shared. Web services do not have a visual interface and are not tied to any one operating system.

Why are Web services so effective for justice system integration?

The answer:

Today, many justice software applications and databases are not written in an open or standardized programming language; therefore, the applications are unable to share or pass information back and forth. Plus, many of these applications are running on proprietary or closed platforms or networks. As a result, information sharing among legacy justice applications – especially with an enterprise view – is a challenge. However, Web services allow agencies to share and exchange information in a standardized manner within their own organization or with partnering agencies, leveraging open technologies such as SOA. Get more information on how URL’s Web services development solutions can make your justice integration project a success.

What type of XML-based open standards and language does URL implement?

The answer:

URL develops and implements Web services using Web Services Description Language (WSDL). A WSDL is a way to describe the type of services that a justice organization might offer – definitions and operations of each message – and defining how they should be connected to a specific endpoint. The definitions describe both data type and message meanings and classifications, using the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM), XML standard.

How does URL assure Web services are secure?

The answer:

URL uses Web Services Specifications (WS-*) in order to provide advanced and interoperable functionalities for security, reliable messaging, and transactions.

  • WS-Security, which is a set of extensible standards that address and defines exact security constraints and requirements. These extensible standards contain XML Encryption which authorizes messages to confirm information integrity, encrypts messages to ensure sender/receiver confidentiality, and authenticates messages to gain security network access.
  • WS-Addressing defines XML elements to identify Web service endpoints and to secure end-to-end identification in messages. Essentially, WS-Addressing enables messaging systems to support message transmission through networks that include processing nodes, including endpoint managers, firewalls, and gateways.
  • WS-Policy describes the capabilities and constraints of the security policies on intermediaries and endpoints, including required security tokens, supported encryption algorithms, and privacy rules.
  • WS-ReliableMessaging describes a protocol that allows messages to be delivered reliably between distributed applications in the presence of software components, system, or network failures.