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Re: Web Service Definition [Was "Some Thoughts ..."]

From: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>
Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 09:15:35 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <200202251415.JAA26724@markbaker.ca>
To: steve.vinoski@iona.com (Vinoski, Stephen)
Cc: Mike.Champion@softwareag-usa.com (Champion Mike), www-ws-arch@w3.org
> Whoa, hold on a second, this discussion is giving me "what is an object"
> flashbacks...OK, I think I'm better now. :-)
> 
> I think Web Services have three key elements:
> 
> 1) Identified by URI
> 2) Accessible via standard web protocols
> 3) Capable of interacting with applications and programs that are not
> directly human-driven user interfaces, e.g. web browsers

I like this definition very much.  I'd like to rewrite it slightly,
changing two things; opening it up protocols other than "web"
protocols, ensuring that the prose suggests that individual web
services be URI-identifiable, and making sure that its recognized that
it has to be all of these things, not just one or two;

  A Web service is a service that is;

  1) identified by a URI, and
  2) accessible via standard internet protocols, and
  3) Capable of interacting with applications and programs that are not
     directly human-driven user interfaces, e.g. web browsers

I don't consider changing #2 to refer to "internet protocols" versus
"web protocols" to be a serious change, because #1 tempers the scope of
the protocol to those that operate on things with URIs.  For example,
FTP is a valid protocol to be used for a web service (despite not being
commonly recognized as a "web protocol") because it operates on files
which are things that have URIs.

> Broad? Yes. But I think it's necessary to be broad. I don't believe you
> can define the basis of web services in terms of standards or
> technologies, other than the web itself (which is OK given that "web"
> already appears in its name).

+1!

MB
-- 
Mark Baker, Chief Science Officer, Planetfred, Inc.
Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA.      mbaker@planetfred.com
http://www.markbaker.ca   http://www.planetfred.com
Received on Monday, 25 February 2002 09:12:13 GMT

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