W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-ws-arch@w3.org > April 2003

Re: Stranger in a Strange Land

From: Assaf Arkin <arkin@intalio.com>
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2003 20:00:24 -0700
Message-ID: <3E9E18C8.5030600@intalio.com>
To: "Champion, Mike" <Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com>
CC: www-ws-arch@w3.org

Just me $0.02

I have also seen big companies implement mission critical systems that 
do not use envelopes or any of the protocols that are close to our 
hearts. On the other hand I have seen some small projects that placed a 
lot of emphasis on the use of envelopes down to the level of equating 
SOAP with Web services.

I don't know if this applies to all cases but my experience has been 
that the big guys feel the need to have XML-based solutions done 
yesterday and will spend whatever it takes to make that happen. They 
build the infrastructure down from fixing bugs in the XML parser and all 
the way up to the process engine. In a monolithic approach I see no 
justification for envelopes.

The small guys on the other hand can't afford that luxury. They opt to 
buy off-the-shelf solutions and integrate them as they build a 
technological stack on top of which they can develop their business 
processes. They look for plug-and-play solutions and furthermore not 
being able to dictate which schemas to use they must conform to a 
broadly adopted standard. Envelopes is one way to achieve this goal.


Champion, Mike wrote:

>     -----Original Message-----
>     *From:* Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler)
>     [mailto:RogerCutler@ChevronTexaco.com]
>     *Sent:* Wednesday, April 16, 2003 7:54 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. 
> It's good we have you to keep our butts regularly kicked! We do have a 
> bit of a vendor orientation here, and we need to keep the customer 
> perspective in mind.
>     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".  
> They presumably have a reliable messaging infrastructure (or 
> application code) to report whether messages are successfully 
> delivered, and no requirements for complex routing, nor for encryption 
> that has to work across multiple hops (unlike SSL), and no long 
> running stateful interactions (aka choreographies), and are happy 
> hand-coding their WS invocations rather than having them generated 
> from the formal description.  That's fine, but the whole point of what 
> we're doing is to support the people who need the higher levels of the 
> WS infrastructure.  People who just have a URI and need to get data 
> from it directly may well not get any advantage from SOAP, but those 
> who have more complex needs can take advantage of the infrastructure 
> that SOAP (and WSDL) add.
>     I think there is something wrong here, folks.  It seems to me that
>     we may be seeing the beginnings of a market rebellion.   
> I don't worry that there is something wrong.  Maybe there's something 
> right, if people are using the bits of the Web/Webservices corpus that 
> actually meet their needs as opposed to those that the pundits and 
> marketing folks say they should use. If the masses want to rebel 
> against the hypemeisters and marketing weasels, toss a few rocks for 
> me!   But I don't think that Web services technologies are the enemy here.
>  I see the WSA as encompassing everything from simple RESTful XML 
> exchanges over HTTP to secured, choreographed, reliable transactions 
> over diverse protocols. We don't talk about the simple stuff much 
> because it's pretty well defined. My dispute with the RESTifarians is 
> over whether the "envelope-less" approach will be practical in complex 
> applications, not over whether the SOAP approach is necessary in 
> simple applications.
Received on Wednesday, 16 April 2003 23:14:02 UTC

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