WS-Notification provides a mechanism for standards-based communications of events within a network of computer systems. Examples could include an application notifying another that a purchase order has been accepted, or that data is ready for download. Until recently, communicating such "events" between business applications was done through proprietary messaging systems.
The same computing need within a web services architecture is being addressed by Microsoft Corp., BEA Systems Inc., Tibco Software Inc. and others through a separate specification called WS-Eventing. IBM, however, stressed that the two groups are not competing, but are taking different approaches.
The priorities of IBM and its partners focus on allowing message brokers, such IBM MQSeries, to be present between the event publisher and the subscriber within a network, in addition to managing all other notifications and the end points.
In addition, IBM is interested in supporting its grid computing initiative, which needed notification to work. Grid computing is the sharing of processing power across a network so that all machines function as one larger supercomputer.