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A Sane Approach to Migrating to Web Services  RSS feed

 
Mapraputa Is
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A Sane Approach to Migrating to Web Services
Roger L. Costello
August 4, 2002
  • The Web services vision is a mirage at the present. If you jump on it today you will loose.
  • The only thing that's real today is XML. Use it.
  • Don't use SOAP, WSDL, and UDDI. I believe that they will be replaced with superior technologies in short order.

  • http://www.xfront.com/MigratingToWebServices.html
    By now I has undermined three JR forums, including my own. "UML and OO" is the next...
     
    William Brogden
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    That article outlines a very reasonable set of priorities. I like the emphasis on getting a workable XML vocabulary for your particular domain. I think the first big users of "web services" will be corporate Intra-nets where there is a known need for coordinating between wide-spread systems and the corporation can justify the effort.
    Bill
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    Kyle Brown
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    I'm sorry, but I think the article is nothing but sour grapes. I strongly get the feeling that he hasn't profited from Web Services yet, so he feels no one will (or has). That is certainly not our experience at IBM. In particular, I will not his criticism of WSDL:
    "WSDL is very complex, not very expressive, and certainly not very intuitive."
    First of all, any IDL that has the goals of WSDL (to be a general IDL independent of target language or binding) would have to be complex. "Not very expressive" -- for WHAT? It's an IDL, not a programming language for gosh sakes! "Not very intuitive". Well, the idea has ALWAYS been that WSDL would be generated by tools, not humans. The VERY FACT that WSDL can be generated by IBM tools and used by Microsoft tools (and vice versa) to generate compatible stubs and skeletons tells me that it's pretty much reached its goals in that regard.
    Also, I get the feeling he's never USED WSDL in any sense. We use it all over in the IBM tool suite. For instance:
    (1) WSDL is used to describe both mainframe data types and the mapping from Java data types to mainframe data types, and to describe the interface of mainframe COBOL API's in such a way that we can generate Java wrappers in WebSphere Studio Integration Edition.
    (2) WSDL is used to describe bindings for the same Web Service simultaneously for RMI/IIOP, SOAP over HTTP and SOAP over JMS (MQ Series) in the new WebSphere Application Server 5.0 (the Web Services Gateway).
    (3) WSDL and WSFL (Web Services Flow Language) are also used by WebSphere Studio IE to describe "microflows" that give the first reasonable standard visual programming language our tools have had for years. What's more, when the application server capabilities expand to "macroflows" (WebSphere 5.0 EE) this will become the preferred way of expressing workflow.
    I could go on similarly about SOAP, too, but I won't. I'll only agree with ONE of his assertions; UDDI is overhyped and not ready for prime time.
    Kyle
     
    Mapraputa Is
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    I do not know about WSDL, but there is certain hostility to SOAP in Internet developer circles. Paul Prescod is best known for his ideas that there is little SOAP adds over simple XML/HTTP/URI based service. Here is his program article on "SOAP vs. REST" theme and here how such a service can look partically.
    But all this is less applicable to the "Web Services" within an enterprise, I suppose.
     
    Kyle Brown
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    I'll tend to agree with that. IMHO SOAP is optional for web services; the REST approach and the HTTP/SOAP approach are equivalent when you consider HTTP as your only transport. But the problem is it's not. It's not even a good transport in some cases. The fact that I can schlep SOAP messages unchanged (and containing security headers, routing headers, and even (one day) transactional headers) across multiple protocols is a big plus for most enterprise integration projects.
    Kyle
    [ August 19, 2002: Message edited by: Kyle Brown ]
     
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