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Web services traffic logging for Web Analytics

From: Lee Cook <leecook@us.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 7 Nov 2002 14:40:45 -0500
To: www-wsa-comments@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFF68A7D23.60A26995-ON87256C69.0075259C@us.ibm.com>

I would like to raise the issue and requirement for providing
traffic/activity logging of Web services for the benefit of Web Analyzer
   Web traffic analytics is a different "facets" if your will, from the
other QoS, Management and Security facets already identified.
   Web traffic analyzers import web traffic data either from HTTP web
server logs (batch mode) or some other real-time
   facility for the purpose of reporting patterns and volumes of usage to
answer eBusiness questions on the effectiveness and utilization of
enterprise web
   applications.  Web services offers a new type of web traffic activity
that will also be of great interest and benefit to providers of Web

   Web service's usage of HTTP POST data exchanges for requests and
responses, means this new traffic activity is not accessible from the
webserver logs,
   which only log HTTP GET URL parameters, cookies,  headers,etc.

   The WS-I Monitoring specification publishes a suggested XML logging
schema for monitoring various spec conformance of SOAP message traffic.
   This logging provides a highly (XML) textually verbose, and content
rich, output suitable for application development purposes.

   In order to provide  web analytics for Web services a standards based
logging mechanism for production, enterprise web applications deployed as
   services is needed. Perhaps it is still early enough to consider the
need for web services analytics.

   There will be a number of standards, implementation, performance
techical issues and challenges for providing Web services traffice logging.
   To list just a few of these  :

      - Identifying and capturing significant discrete data from RPC-based
SOAP messages traffic vs SOAP Messages
         for logging - target URLs - Headers - RCP type request and
response operations - method names - arguement params - result values
     -  Consider SOAP Engine performance considerations
      -  The SOAP envelope contains arbitrary XML Body elements - various
SOAP engine implementations use different formats
         Long-running textual paramters (i.e files) need to be excluded or
a string length limit
      - SOAP engine performance impact of parsing the SOAP XML structures
for logging
      - A standard Web services logging format must be proposed
        Perhaps using the W3C Extended Log Format which is already
recognized by Web Analyzer products ?
      - How to make traffic logging optional for the SOAP engine
      - Security encryption of messages
      - etc

  I think this important eBusiness requirement should be addressed early
enough in the cycle perhaps be a seperate W3C working group.

 R Lee Cook
   IBM WebAnalyticsDevelopment
    Intranet:     Lee Cook/Raleigh/IBM
    Internet:  leecook@us.ibm.com
    Phone: 919-224-1488  TL: 8-687-1488
    "Families can be Forever"
Received on Friday, 8 November 2002 09:59:07 UTC

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