Monthly Archives: February 2005

Too busy

I wish I had the time to comment in detail on all the recent goings-on viz a viz SOAP/SOA-vs-REST, but alas, I don’t (in fact, you probably won’t be hearing very much from me until the summer).

I do wish though – and this comment is directed at both sides of the debate – that folks would stick to technical arguments. Because as much as agnosticism sounds like a reasonable position, it totally misses the point that there exist technical issues that make SOA completely unsuitable as an Internet scale integration architectural style. If you want to add transactions, reliability, asynchronicity, etc.. to the Web, you don’t need to relax any of REST’s constraints as SOA does, you need additional ones.

We don’t need no stinkin’ 404s

Spotted over in service-orientated-architecture , from Jeff Schneider;

Personally, I believe that inter-enterprise service catalog has been the biggest single failure of Web services. Not too long ago, I dumped the data from the UBR and wrote a program to test all of the services, 92% of all entries were fake or broken. Quintessential eh?

So remind me again, is 404 a bug or a feature? 8-)

SOAP backlash

Via Tim, a great post from James Governor, a founder of analyst firm Redmonk, who’s apparently not afraid to call a spade a spade. Good on him.

Whats a web service? Still a great question. But anyone that defines a Web Service using SOAP in the definition is missing out on where the action is. Distinctions between enterprise and “consumer” are breaking down. REST is evidently where that convergence is being played out, not WS-I.

Even more interesting is that Joe McKendrick at ZDNet picked it up.

Again, it’s a shame SOAP is getting caught up in this backlash, since it’s not the spec that’s the problem, it’s how people are (mis)using it. Oh well, it’s not like that’s much of a surprise 8-) 8-(

The sad state of SOAP interoperability

As relayed by Nelson Minar, author of two of the Google APIs;

From my experience nothing interoperates well, even in the basic SOAP stack. rpc/encoded used to work OK, within its limitations but now that’s deprecated it’s not a realistic option for new services. So you’re stuck with document/literal where practice isn’t great.

And remember, this is just SOAP 1.1 a spec that is five years old, and which (apparently) requires clarification upon clarification… but still can’t seem to get it right.

Ouch. Even if you like the (presumed) architecture of Web services, this would seem reason enough to give pause and to motivate consideration of a Web based solution, no?

Update; based on some offline feedback, I should clarify that the problem Nelson talks about with the doc/lit encoding isn’t specific to Web services and could also be encountered in a Web based solution. But my intent here is just to throw cold water on the general concept of “SOAP = interoperability”, and to point out that the largest distributed application ever created by mankind – the Web – got that way because it truly embraced interop, and wasn’t just paying it lip service.

WWW2005 Program

… has been posted.

In addition to my DevDay co-chairing duties, I’ll be part of a panel called – at least for now – “Web services considered harmful?” 8-). You’ll recognize all the participants, but I won’t name any yet since I’m not sure who’s confirmed. Rohit Khare will be moderating.

Geek dinner with Tauber

James writes;

If you’re in Boston and interested in meeting up, let me know!

I’ll be seeing far too much of Boston over the next three weeks. I’ll be there on the 17th and 18th (departing on the evening of the 18th), as well as 27th through March 2nd (departing afternoon of the 3rd). I’m currently only booked up on the evening of the 27th, though I expect that one of the other evenings that week will be booked up too.

Gee, I can’t remember how long it’s been since I last saw James.