"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Saturday, March 18, 2006

What is Success?

Tim Bray writes about WS-* vs. ReST/HTTP...

Speaking for myself, not for Sun, I think that we ought to be pouring resources and investment into tooling and developer support around simple XML/HTTP/REST technologies. You know, the standardized ones that work today.
Vendors have sunk a lot of time and money into SOAP and WSDL. Appearances are this effort has gone into easing the burden of programming with SOAP and WSDL. That should tell us something about their languages as well as something about SOAP and WSDL.

What's the result?

Adam Tratchenberg spoke about ebay's approach to versioning their numerous web services at Infoworld's SOA Executive Forum last Thursday. When asked how ebay performs compatibility tests across multiple languages and toolkits, his response was they test with Java, .Net, and PHP. My guess is they don't test with many of the Java toolkits. Perhaps they test with .Net's various toolkits because Windows many programmers are in various stages of adoption.

Anyone with an incompatible toolkit or language though is not left out in the cold... ebay provides an HTTP and POX interface for each method. Can ebay's approach be considered a success for SOAP and WSDL given this lack of universality?

What if the vendors sunk as much money into making HTTP and POX as convenient as they're trying to do with SOAP and WSDL?

Meanwhile at least the long march toward more compatibility in WS-* continues. I've not found a list of attendees to Microsoft's interop session. My sense is the list of languages and toolkits is fairly short (Indigo and Sun's Java toolkit. Others?)

Is this a barrier to entry that guarantees its ultimate demise?


David Goodger said...

In the first line ("Tim Bray writes about WS-* vs. ReST/HTTP..."), I think you meant REST (REpresentational State Transfer), not ReST (ReStructuredText). They're two very different things with subtly different acronyms ;-)

Nicola Larosa said...

Tim Bray writes about WS-* vs. ReST/HTTP...

That would be "REST", as in the rest of the article. As you undoubtedly know, ReST is something else.

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.