Microsoft Corp. presented an architecture for XML Web services and published four specifications supporting that architecture. The Global XML Web Services Architecture provides a set of principles and guidelines for advancing the protocols and file formats of today’s XML Web services to more complex and sophisticated tasks. The four specifications — WS-Security, WS-License, WS-Routing and WS-Referral — build on XML Web services technologies such as SOAP. As with previous XML Web services specifications, these four will be available for a review period and then submitted to appropriate standards bodies. The four specifications provide standard ways to implement and enhance two key XML Web services capabilities — security and routing. These specifications adhere to the road map outlined by Microsoft and IBM Corp. at the W3C Web Services Workshop in April 2001 and represent a first step toward a comprehensive Global XML Web Services Architecture. The security specifications are WS-Security, which outlines how to use the W3C specifications XML Signature and XML Encryption, and WS-License, which, along with WS-Security, outlines how existing digital credentials and their associated trust semantics can be securely associated with SOAP messages. The routing specifications are WS-Routing (formerly SOAP-RP), which describes how to place message addresses in the SOAP message header and enables SOAP messages to travel serially to multiple destinations along a message path, and WS-Referral, which enables the routing between SOAP nodes on a message path to be dynamically configured. Each of these specifications provides extension and composition mechanisms that enable future specifications to be incorporated into a complete solution. They are available for download from