Mnot on Web services architecture

A gem from Mark, discussing the sad state of affairs with Web services architecture. Of course, he manages to do it without sounding like he’s criticising. How’s he do that? Gotta get me some pointers. 8-)

If Web services is a bag of specifications that only constrain you by accident (“it must be XML,” “it’s message-based,” “the basic unit of interaction is the ‘operation'”) then Web services has no architecture, at least in this sense of software architecture*; it’s just flinging messages around.

Pretty much, yep. Didn’t I point that out already? 8-)

But as a meta point, isn’t it nice how clear things become when using the language of software architecture to examine, well, software architecture? Why has it taken so long to get to this point? And why was it being defended so fanatically before anybody even bothered to study the architectural suitability of this new fangled architecture, especially when an existing loosely coupled, document oriented architecture was already available? There’ll be lots of time to answer those questions in the coming years, but it’s extremely disappointing to me that we weren’t able to ask them in time to avoid learning a lesson the hard way.

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