Many Data Grid services maintain persistent metadata in remote relational databases. However, existing relational database systems are neither grid enabled nor web service enabled, adversely affecting cross-organizational interoperability and reuse. The European Data Grid’s Data Management Work Package addresses these issues with Spitfire. The Spitfire service gridenables a wide range of relational database systems by introducing a uniform service interface, data model, network protocol and security model. These are based on widely accepted standards and neutral with respect to programming language, platform and database product. In this paper we briefly describe the latest stable Spitfire release. We then discuss in detail work in progress towards a web service based architecture, its security model and client APIs, illustrated by practical examples.