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Some Thoughts about Goals

From: Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler) <RogerCutler@chevrontexaco.com>
Date: Sat, 16 Feb 2002 09:00:00 -0800
Message-ID: <3B286631A9CFD1118D0700805F6F9F5A066F860C@hou281-msx1.chevron.com>
To: www-ws-arch@w3.org
I'd like to talk about goals for a minute from a slightly different
perspective.  Please forgive me if I dwell on the painfully obvious or
ramble a bit.  My objective here is not to substitute different goals for
the ones being discussed, but perhaps to find out if there is something
missing from them.

It seems that there is a slight level of discomfort in the group because we
do not have a clear definition of what a "web service" is.  I am personally
quite willing to discover this during the process, but I do admit that there
is a certain odd aspect to the situation.  On the other hand, the discomfort
level really does seem to be quite low.  Why is this?  Well, I think that
most people sort of feel, "I'm not sure I can define it, but I know it when
I see it".  Now why would this be?  Well, it seems to me that most people
have the feeling that web services should end up with at least some
reasonable subset of the functions of systems that they already know about
-- like CORBA and Grid.  So why not just use these systems that are already
there?  Probably because we want to have a standards-based solution on the
web that is used by a wider cross-section of end users and/or is less costly
than current solutions.  So one goal -- and this one is certainly painfully
obvious but perhaps worth stating anyway -- is that the architecture be
accepted by as many as the stakeholders as possible.  We want .Net-ers and
Java-ers, creators of open source and proprietary masterpieces, all to say,
"Yup, I can work in that framework".

So, are all the stakeholders at the table?

I am a little concerned that I am getting the impression that systems like
CORBA and Grid are being used as models for goals but perhaps not EDI???  I
don't know the people in this group very well -- are there any EDI people
here?  I myself am hardly an EDI expert but I have access to them.  I could
imagine that EDI might be under-represented because at least some of these
folks seem to want to close their eyes until XML goes away.  I have heard,
in this community, the phrase "flavor of the month" used with the
implication that if you just wait a bit there will be some other enthusiasm
that will replace XML solutions.  I think we understand that this is a bad
call, and I think the EDI people are beginning to realize that too, but at
least among those I know there is still not a lot of active participation.

Now I personally think that the EDI model is very important.  One of the
things that we want web services to do -- a "goal" perhaps in a different
sense -- is to be capable of handling business transactions  EDI is a
mature, functioning system that does just that.  Web services should support
at least some subset of EDI functions.

As I said, I'm not an EDI expert, but let me guess some of the things that
are important in EDI that web services should probably also support:

*	Reliable messaging.
*	Audit trails
*	The usual security suspects - e.g. authorization, nonrepudiation,
secure transmission, etc
*	Ability to transmit large volumes of data efficiently (?)
*	Work flow definition
*	Contingency processing (or something like that)
*	???  Probably a bunch of important stuff I don't know about at the
moment ????

Soooo -- I guess I'm asking you folks:  Do you agree with these concerns?
If so, do the goals as presently articulated address them?
Received on Saturday, 16 February 2002 12:00:13 GMT

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