Epicentric Inc. announced it is joining with a group of vendors to create a vendor-neutral standard for delivering and displaying Web services to end users as Web applications. The Web Services User Interface Standard, or WSUI Standard, allows end users to access and interact with XML and SOAP based Web services as Web applications, regardless of the underlying Web platform or vendor-specific application format. The WSUI initiative offers vendors, customers and developers the ability to develop and dynamically share Web applications without the time and labor of creating multiple vendor-specific connectors written to different Web languages such as Java, COM/.Net, and Perl. As the first standard user interface of its kind, the WSUI specification is intended to accelerate the deployment of Web services for use in portals. By exposing their applications as WSUI components, application vendors can dynamically plug their application into any portal platform running a WSUI container, decreasing vendor lock-in and increasing customer choice. WSUI leverages XML, SOAP, WSDL, XPATH, XSLT, XHTML and other standard XML-based technologies. It was constructed to be easily implemented by any programmer with XML and server-side Web skills. And because it can be implemented entirely using server-to-server-to-client using XML messaging and thin-client XHTML to the client, there are no browser dependencies and no issues with JavaScript fragility or ActiveX support. Formed by Epicentric, the WSUI Working Group will develop the specification and expects to release the initial specification and a reference implementation for review by the Web services community in late 2001. WSUI welcomes the support of all companies and individuals interested in influencing the direction and future of Web service application standards. www.wsui.org