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RE: Nailing down the definition of "Web services" and the scope o fWS A for the document

From: Champion, Mike <Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2003 13:24:23 -0400
Message-ID: <9A4FC925410C024792B85198DF1E97E4057742D2@usmsg03.sagus.com>
To: www-ws-arch@w3.org

-----Original Message-----
From: Christopher B Ferris [mailto:chrisfer@us.ibm.com]
Sent: Thursday, April 17, 2003 1:03 PM
To: Colleen Evans
Cc: www-ws-arch@w3.org; www-ws-arch-request@w3.org
Subject: Re: Nailing down the definition of "Web services" and the scope o
fWS A for the document

WSA-compliant is way too strong a term IMO. Why can't we just call it a Web


The basic argument for distinguishing generic Web services from "WSA" Web
services is to try to end the year or so of discussion on this definition.
If we say, for example, that "Web services" must have a formal description
and use XML, then we get pushback from all sorts of people who say
"Application FOO is a 'web service' but it doesn't use XML, and the
developers just read the documentation to learn how to use it."  It would be
nice, IMHO, to be able to say "OK, OK, 'FOO' is a Web service, fine ... but
it does not meet the additional constraints that define the W3C WSA."   
More formally, here's my [personal, not wearing co-chair hat] sense of this:
Constraints on "generic Web service"
1.  ...  is designed and deployed to provide information to or perform some
action  at the request of a software agent without human intervention

 2.  ...  is a resource and has identity, thus can be uniquely identified by
a URI ; agents communicate with the service via a standard protocol that
directly or indirectly uses the URI to access the service.   

 3.  ... has a description available that is sufficiently explicit to be
efficiently communicated to the developer of an agent that uses the service.

Additional constraints on "Web service in-scope for WSA"

4. ... has a formal interface description that is [or can be] encoded in XML
and has at least the descriptive power of WSDL 1.2

5. ... communicates using an extensible XML protocol with at least the
capabilities of SOAP 1.2

In other words, the point of the "generic" definition is to make the
political aspects of our job easier; the point of the "WSA" definition is to
make the technical aspects of our job easier.

Received on Thursday, 17 April 2003 13:24:24 UTC

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