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RE: WEBDAV and Web Services Interoperability

From: Lisa Dusseault <lisa@xythos.com>
Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2003 14:32:14 -0800
To: "'Steve Lomicka'" <SLomicka@iDatix.com>, <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>
Message-ID: <00f001c3b9ed$4d7f1e30$75c990c6@lisalap>
Hi Steve,
That's a great question.  I'm not an expert on how to drop a service into
.NET, but I assume that's a lot like writing an API.  Does writing a Web
Service really allow you to get a .NET API for free?   Or does writing a Web
Service mostly involve writing a .NET API, and then the .NET framework
translates those into SOAP magically for you?  It sounds like you're doing
something a lot like what Xythos does, only for a .NET environment instead
of a java servlet environment.  Xythos' WFS supports WebDAV, but we also
support a java API to do custom development.  We've architected WFS so that
the WebDAV server uses the same API that customers do.
As far as I know, there's no great answer for automatically converting or
translating WebDAV to a Web Service.  But I don't see why you'd want to.
Having a Web Service instead of a WebDAV server gives you nothing; there's
no client that will automatically work with your server if you support a Web
Service to do document management.
Is the goal really to have an API for .NET development, as well as protocol
support?  That's not so hard to do with WebDAV, and there would be a lot of
overlap.  If you develop an API with both WebDAV and .NET development in
mind, then your WebDAV server could use your own API, the same one that
customers use to integrate into .NET.  That API would be strongly XML
oriented, since both WebDAV and .NET use XML to format data.  That gives you
an internal layer to your WebDAV server, but layering is always a good idea
for future improvements anyway.  
I'm sorry that this answer is so confused, but I'd always thought that the
Microsoft "Web Services and .NET magically integrate" messages were mostly
marketing fluff, and I've never bothered to really find out the substance
behind them.  Maybe if you can fill in the blanks here we can come up with a
better answer.

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-dist-auth-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-dist-auth-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Steve Lomicka
Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 2003 12:35 PM
To: w3c-dist-auth@w3.org
Subject: WEBDAV and Web Services Interoperability

    Congratulations Ms. Dusseault on your new book.  I have a copy and it
has saved me hours of spelunking time.  I wish I had it two years ago when I
first embraced WEBDAV........
    We are a small software company in the document management space.  We
are upgrading our existing server and I have strongly suggested to upper
management that we use the WEBDAV protocol as the 'interface' (sorry) to our
server.  In a previous life, I developed a server that supported the WEBDAV
protocol including a small subset of DASL and am aware of the benefits of
utilizing WEBDAV.  The owner of the company is leaning towards the Web
Services camp.  His rational for using Web Services is that an integrator
using our document repository can "drag and drop" our service into the
Microsoft .NET development environment and immediately begin integrating.  I
have already overcome all of the other business objections to WEBDAV but do
not have an answer for this one.  We have a data layer that supports our
business rules and the plan was/is to expose it first using WEBDAV then
expose it via Web Service in order to accommodate both environments.  This
is a lot of work for a company of our size.  Is there a way to expose a
WEBDAV server like a Web Service in a development environment?  I realize
that WEBDAV is a protocol and as such does not support discovery like a Web
Service.  Since it is a standard, it does reason that the methods in WEBDAV
could be mapped to Web Services methods via some automatic conversion,
translation etc.  Any thoughts?
    Thanks in advance for any and all information and suggestions.
Team Lead
 <http://www.idatix.com/> www.iDatix.com
727-441-8228 ex29
Received on Wednesday, 3 December 2003 17:32:09 UTC

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