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RE: Stranger in a Strange Land

From: Dave Hollander <dmh@contivo.com>
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2003 17:45:11 -0700
Message-ID: <BD52C6379806D51188DD00508BEEC96C012A0ED9@mail.contivo.com>
To: "Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler)" <RogerCutler@ChevronTexaco.com>, www-ws-arch@w3.org
Roger asks a good question.
It sure would be good if the benefits and advantages and disadvantages of
evelopes, descriptions, payload formats, etc
could be found in our architecture document!
Please, can we focus on that and not have a long tirade on the pros/cons of
soap. I ask that answers be based on what is in the document or what should
be or to him personally.

-----Original Message-----
From: Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler) [mailto:RogerCutler@ChevronTexaco.com]
Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2003 5:54 PM
To: www-ws-arch@w3.org
Subject: Stranger in a Strange Land

Once again I feel like I am torn between different universes.  It would be a
lot easier for me, and certainly more comfortable, if I spent my all my time
in a single environment where everyone comfortably accepts the same
assumptions and values.

OK, let's be more specific.  I have learned that a company which I think is
much larger than any represented in the W3C has forced another company that
I think is larger than any in the W3C to accept XML payloads (lots of them)
totally without envelopes.  "I don't need no stinking SOAP".  Moreover, I
find that many small to medium sized companies are objecting to the expense
of creating envelopes that they feel do not benefit them, and also wish to
send bare XML payloads.  A very large company which has implemented an XXXX
standard with envelopes (which we have also implemented) has subsequently
implemented an XXXX-lite -- which is just the body without any envelope
whatsoever.  Signing and so on, of course, are possible in this scenario.
Again, "We don't need no stinkin SOAP".

I find also that a company that is trying to make a business out of
collecting and routing business transactions has found itself under
increasing pressure from the market and its clients not to use envelopes.
They think that envelopes are very good things -- but they are moving toward
offering services that are envolope-free.

So I ask, "What is the benefit of the envelopes"?  I ask people in my
company who have implemented a business transaction project including
envelopes and they tell me that envelopes are very good and very forward
looking -- they should be very useful for creating supply chain processes
and keeping track of what transactions have occurred, not to mention dealing
with complex routing situations -- but in fact they have not really done
very much with the envelopes.  Well, exactly what HAVE they done?  Well,
they have made them and received them.  And I infer that they have felt
virtuous in the process.  Well, maybe they have looked at some statistics
based on the envelopes from the middleware a few times, and they feel good
that they have been able to purchase middleware products based on the
envelopes.  Perhaps this has saved development effort.

I ask other people what the benefit is of envelopes, and I receive no answer
that indicates to me any benefit whatsoever to a small to medium sized
company that does not have elaborate and expensive middleware systems.
Envelopes seem to make it easy for expensive middleware in big companies to
keep track of things (although as far as I can tell most of the big
companies are not really exploiting this for much) -- but for the little
guys they appear to be pretty much something that is being forced on them by
the big guys.

Except that the biggest of the big guys seems to be saying that they don't
need no stinkin envelopes. 

I think there is something wrong here, folks.  It seems to me that we may be
seeing the beginnings of a market rebellion.  It would really, really be
helpful to me if someone could remind me why envolopes are so great.  I sort
of have forgotten, as has everyone else I have been talking to around here.
Just about everybody seems to agree that they are absolutely necessary --
but they all seem to have forgotten exactly why.

I don't have a good feeling about this, folks. 
Received on Wednesday, 16 April 2003 20:50:47 UTC

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