Monthly Archives: February 2006

The cost of empiricism

In the comments on an inquisitive blog post by David Megginson, Mike Champion asks;

Show us the WS-* success stories, show us the secure, reliable and truly RESTifarian success stories, and let the world judge from the evidence.

to which I responded;

Mike – empirical evidence is wonderful to have of course, but it’s also extraordinarily costly to come by. It’s also unnecessary, since we’ve had at our disposal for years (since Perry & Wolf’s “Foundations” paper in the early 90s) a method of evaluating software architectural styles for their suitability for any particular task in any particular environment. Applying that method to SOA/WS tells us a number things, most importantly that it doesn’t scale across trust boundaries (which I’ve been saying for many years, and folks now seem to be acknowledging viz a viz WS use behind the firewall). That same method also tells us which other styles do (ones that adopt interface constraints, of which REST is just one example). This whole debate is not much more complicated than that.

I just thought that worth replicating here. Of course, that extraordinary cost I referred to has already been born out over the past few years by Web services ISVs, their customers, and others, so there should be an abundance of evidence for Mike.

Tags: soap, soa, rest, softwarearchitecture, webservices.

When it rains, it pours

As if on queue, the Zapthink guys release a report which shows that they’ve been paying attention;

Since the Web plays such a large role for SMBs in their use of Web Services, it makes sense that many of them use the cheapest, simplest approach available for implementing B2B Web Services interactions. Using approaches such as Representational State Transfer (REST) gives companies a simple, straightforward HTTP-based approach to Web Services-based integration that is adequate for the needs of many SMBs.

and …

Many SMBs have been leveraging Web Services to reduce the cost of older approaches to addressing their external integration needs. The simple addition of Web Services interfaces, however, typically remain as inflexible as the API approaches that came before. Only through the application of SOA can midsize firms build and leverage loosely coupled Web Services that are flexible enough to respond to ongoing change in the business environment.

I really like that second last sentence, where they’re saying, no, SOA does not encompass all forms of service. And though they don’t explicitly state what they do think SOA entails, it’s made clear that their interpretation of SOA does not include “the simple addition of Web Services interfaces”, which seems to mean that they include some sort of interface constraint.

Some of those snippets are taken somewhat out of context; as you’d expect, there’s a bit of the “SOAP is for heavy lifting” stuff in there too. But still, from these historically foaming-at-the-mouth WS/SOA types (kidding guys! 8-), some good stuff.

Tags: soa, rest, web, webservices.

Move along, nothing to see here

According to Rob Sayre, the REST vs SOA debate is over;

If you have Microsoft saying “well, the best approach is to make this elaborate infrastructure we’ve spent billions of dollars building out optional”, then the debate is over.

I noticed that in Don’s post, but figured he must have been trying to say something else. I mean, if the debate was over, somebody would have told me, right? 8-)

So would now be a good time to remind people that I’m looking for work?

Tags: soa, rest.