Daily Archives: 2004/09/16

WS-Transfer; the WS-* stack grabs a clue, sort of

It’s been a long time coming, but the Web services stack finally catches up to where the Web was 15 years ago, and where email was 20 years before that; exchanging documents over the Internet. Happy days! <groan/>

Facetiousness aside though, it’s unfortunate that the layering is still so butchered; WS-Transfer just reinvents HTTP on top of SOAP on top of HTTP. And for what exactly? They could have just reused HTTP’s methods which are already outside the envelope, the way most people use application protocols, and still get all the goodness of SOAP. Who the heck wants to try to bootstrap a whole new Web when the one we’ve got is doing just fine, thank-you-very-much?

It’s also curious that POST is missing, yet CREATE has been added. This seems an obvious attempt to equate the uniform interface with CRUD, but it’s unclear whether that’s to try to restrict the range of possible applications WS-Transfer could be used for, or because the authors honestly thought nothing was being lost with this omission? Knowing many of the authors, I bet the latter, but who knows …

As interesting as this is to see though, I don’t see anybody choosing to use it over vanilla HTTP or RESTful SOAP+HTTP. I’d be interested in anybody’s thoughts who disagreed with me on that.