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Some proposed definitions of "web service" based on the call toda y

From: Champion, Mike <Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2003 15:36:27 -0600
Message-ID: <9A4FC925410C024792B85198DF1E97E4057743BA@usmsg03.sagus.com>
To: www-ws-arch@w3.org

Whew, that was fun :-(  Although it got better when we stumbled on the
"instant straw poll in IRC" idea; we should do that more often.  I'd say
that in general, anyone who has the "floor" in the speaker queue may propose
one of those by typing the question into IRC; those not on IRC can ask to
have their vote recorded by someone who is.

Let me throw out some proposals that reflect the various opinions I heard
today; without my co-chair hat on, I could live with either of them:

===========================================================================
The term "web service" is used in a wide variety of ways by different
people, and we will not presume that the definition used here is consistent
with all of them.  Nevertheless, for the purposes of this document, we will
use the term to mean the following: A Web service is [an interface to ?] an
executable software agent that is designed to be used by another software
agent.  A Web service is
identified by a URI, and MUST be [capable of being ?] formally defined in
WSDL 1.2.  A software agent interacts with an  Web service in the manner
prescribed by the formal definition, using the XML Infoset and processing
model defined by SOAP 1.2.

[Chris said some things about SOAP being general enough to describe any
reasonable "web service" interaction that I didn't capture very well ...
maybe he can refresh my memory.]

==========================================================================

The term "web service" is used in a wide variety of ways by different
people, but there is a rough consensus along the following lines: A Web
service is an interface to an executable software agent that is designed to
be used by another software agent.  A Web service is identified by a URI,
and has a definition in a language sufficient to describe the interface to
developers of client agents. A software agent interacts with a Web service
in the manner that is consistent with the description, using standard
protocols. 

That definition of "web service" is not sufficiently precise or rigorous for
architectural purposes, however.  We will use a more restrictive term to
describe the scope of the architecture described here: "Extensible XML Web
Services", abbreviated XWS.   the purposes of this document, we will use the
term to mean the following: An XWS is an interface to an executable software
agent that is designed to be used by another software agent.  An XWS is
identified by a URI, and MUST be capable of being formally defined in WSDL
1.2.  A software agent interacts with an  Web service in the manner
prescribed by the formal definition, using the XML Infoset and processing
model defined by SOAP 1.2."

["XWS" is essentially a placeholder for some term ... I don't care what it
is, but it must specifically describe the "MUST" constraints specified by
the WSA.]

==========================================================================
Of course, improved definitions are solicited.
Received on Thursday, 17 April 2003 18:13:30 GMT

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