If you’d have asked me six or seven years ago – when this whole Web
services things was kicking off – how things were likely to go with
them, I would have said – and indeed, have said many times since – that
they would fail to see widespread use on the Internet, as their
architecture is only suitable for use under a
i.e. behind a firewall. But if you’d asked me if I would have thought
that there’d be
with basic interoperability of foundational specifications, I
would have said, no, I wouldn’t expect that. I mean, despite the
architectural shortcomings, the job of developing interoperable
specifications, while obviously difficult, wouldn’t be any more
difficult because of these shortcomings… would it?
I’ve given this a fair bit of thought recently and concluded that yes,
those differences are important. What I don’t know though, is whether
they’re important enough to cause the aforementioned WS interop problems.
But here’s my working theory on why Web services interop is harder; you
can decide for yourself how significant they are.
What I think this boils down to is that interoperability testing of Web
based services (not Web services), like any Web deployment, benefits from
network effects not available with Web services, primarily due to the use
So if we’re testing out Web based services, and I write a test client, then
that client can be used – as-is – to test all services. You simply
don’t get this with Web services, at least past the point where you get the
equivalent of the “unknown operation” fault. As a result, there’s a whole
lot more testing going on, which should intuitively mean better interop.
Or at least that’s the theory. What do you think?
Update; based on
by others, I guess I should qualify this as stating that I understand that
there are concrete reasons why bugs exist today. But what I’m talking about
above is the meta question of why these bugs continue to persist, despite
plenty of time passing in which they could have been resolved (modulo the
vendor-interest comment by Steve & Patrick, which I don’t buy because
there’s so much activity in SOAP extensions that lock-in at the SOAP level
is unnecessary and moreover, shrinks the market by scaring potential