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RE: Draft definition of WS

From: Paul Denning <pauld@mitre.org>
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2003 17:49:28 -0400
Message-Id: <5.2.0.9.0.20030725134106.03022ba8@mailsrv1.mitre.org>
To: www-ws-arch@w3.org

At 06:46 PM 2003-07-24, Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler) wrote:
>There are many things that might reasonably be called "Web services" in
>the world at large.  However, for the purpose of this architecture, and
>without prejudice toward other definitions, we will use the following
>definition:
>
>A Web service is a software system designed to support
>machine-to-machine interaction over a network.  It is identified by a
>URI and has public interfaces described in a machine-processable format
>(WSDL). Other systems may interact with the Web service in a manner
>prescribed by its description, typically using XML-based messages
>conveyed using HTTP, SOAP and other Web-related standards.

1.  s/public interfaces/interfaces/
Rationale:  gets into security, e.g., access control list (ACL) to restrict 
access.  Don't need to go there.

2.  replace "machine-to-machine" with "varying degrees of isolation from 
human intervention" (I'll suggest wording below).
Rationale:  Avoids the need to define "machine"; gets to the intent (that a 
human is not necessarily available to interpret results or errors); 
isolation varies from totally autonomous to a thin veneer (portlet?) for 
interactive applications.

3.  Machine-processable doesn't feel quite right.  Need to work in the idea 
that the descriptions are not primarily used for presentation to a 
human.  If we just said described using XML, does this not imply machine 
processable (able to leverage the ubiquitous set of XML tools)?

4.  s/other systems/agents/

5.  "Typically" applies to the protocol (HTTP, SOAP); messages are always 
XML-based (to include XML Infosets with perhaps other serializations [2]).

6.  "identified by a URI" still gives me some trouble.  I find myself 
asking whether this means the abstract class (e.g., the UDDI service), an 
instance of the service (e.g., the UDDI Business Registry as opposed to the 
PSN [1]), or a particular accessPoint to a particular instance (e.g., IBM's 
SOAP inquiry to the UDDI Business Registry).

<suggestion>
A Web service is a software system designed to support interaction over a 
network with varying degrees of isolation from human intervention.  Web 
services use URIs for identifiers, and have interfaces described using XML 
(typically WSDL).  Agents interact with the Web service in a manner 
prescribed by its description, using XML-based messages typically conveyed 
using HTTP, SOAP and other Web-related standards.
</suggestion>

[1] http://production.pictureservices.org/directory/web
[2] http://groups.yahoo.com/group/soapbuilders/message/8223


Paul
Received on Friday, 25 July 2003 18:08:55 GMT

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