Universal Description Discovery and Integration

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What Does Universal Description Discovery and Integration Mean?

Universal Description Discovery and Integration (UDDI) is a set of specifications defining a registry service for Web services and for other electronic and non-electronic services.


A UDDI registry service is a Web service managing information about service providers, service implementations and service metadata. Providers advertise their Web services on the UDDI registry. Consumers then use UDDI to discover Web services suiting their requirements and obtain the service metadata needed to consume those services.

UDDI is an open industry initiative sponsored by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS).

Techopedia Explains Universal Description Discovery and Integration

UDDI is the Internet’s equivalent of a telephone directory, where businesses register themselves and other businesses or consumers look them up.

A UDDI registry works in the following manner:

  1. A service provider registers its business with the UDDI registry.
  2. A service provider registers, separately, each service with the UDDI registry.
  3. The service consumer looks up the business and services in the UDDI registry.
  4. The service consumer binds to the service provider and uses the service.

When UDDI was introduced in 2000, its role as a central pillar of the Web service industry looked very promising. Major players such as IBM, Microsoft and SAP had invested in UDDI and rolled out public UDDI business registries (UBRs). Only six years later, in the beginning of 2006, the three companies announced they were shutting down their public UBRs. While the technology concept was proven and UDDI versions 2.0 and 3.0 were accepted as standards by OASIS, the primary reason for the shutdown was lack of business support. Business conduct still requires human interaction in the contracting phase.

The UDDI standard is still being used, mainly in the internal operations of organizations. Other standards governing the interaction with registries were introduced. The most prevalent are ebXML and Java API for XML registries.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.