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RE: Is This a Web Service?

From: Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler) <RogerCutler@ChevronTexaco.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2003 10:17:16 -0500
Message-ID: <7FCB5A9F010AAE419A79A54B44F3718E026EF5A2@bocnte2k3.boc.chevrontexaco.net>
To: "Walden Mathews" <waldenm@optonline.net>, www-ws-arch@w3.org
Is that serious?  Are you saying that if it doesn't use XML it's not a
Web service?  Do other people agree?
My personal opinion, as I said, is that the described situation is,
indeed, a Web service because it communicates between two applications
via the Web.  I guess, intuitively, that's what I think a Web service
fundamentally is.  I would say, however, that it is a VERY primitive Web
service, and that to progress in sophistication and function you need to
add XML, SOAP, description (whether WSDL or TPP/TPA) and so on.
-----Original Message-----
From: Walden Mathews [mailto:waldenm@optonline.net] 
Sent: Monday, April 14, 2003 4:31 PM
To: Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler); www-ws-arch@w3.org
Subject: Re: Is This a Web Service?

What?  A web service with no XML?  Surely this is treason.
(Off with his header.;-)

	----- Original Message ----- 
	From: Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler)
	To: www-ws-arch@w3.org 
	Sent: Monday, April 14, 2003 5:19 PM
	Subject: Is This a Web Service?

	The recent conversation has included the interesting idea of
looking at Web services as SOAP services.  Are we really saying that
SOAP is integral and required for ALL Web services?  For example (and
this is a real example), suppose there is a Web site on the internet
that is oriented toward returning results to people on browsers, but if
you set the parameters of the GET in a particular manner it runs an
application that generates an image (the nature of which depends on
other parameters) and returns that image (and only the image) as an HTTP
type image/png.  I now have an application that at some point wants to
make such an image with the contents based, shall we say, on calculated
values (in fact, this determines text that is inside the image, if you
must know) -- and I do a GET with the appropriate parameters, wait for
the HTTP to come back, write the binary stream of the image somewhere
and go about the business of the application which does something with
the image.

	Now, I personally think that's a Web service, mostly because of
the application to application flavor.  I would not call it a "W3C Web
service", since it doesn't use WSDL and SOAP -- but it seems pretty Web
service-ey to me.  I would personally call it an "ad hoc" Web service --
and I would make up another name for ebXML transactions that use SOAP
but not WSDL, since it seems to me that those, too, are Web services
that handle the description differently. 

	But what do you folks think?  Does it absolutely have to use
SOAP to be a Web service?  If so, that's an interesting and really
useful thing to know.  My personal opinion, for what it is worth, is
that simpler, ad hoc things like the example above are, indeed, Web
services, but you quickly start needing SOAP if you want to do anything
other than the most basic operations, and so in practice most of the
"interesting" Web services use SOAP.  I am certainly willing to agree
that if a Web service uses ANY enveloping mechanism that it should be
SOAP, since there don't seem to be any other real popular candidates.
Is that a reasonable point of view?
Received on Tuesday, 15 April 2003 11:17:32 UTC

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