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RE: Issue 107: Clarify the terms application, actor & related not ions of identity.

From: Williams, Stuart <skw@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2001 14:55:45 +0100
Message-ID: <5E13A1874524D411A876006008CD059F026A8475@0-mail-1.hpl.hp.com>
To: Eric Jenkins <ejenkins@engenia.com>
Cc: "'xml-dist-app@w3.org'" <xml-dist-app@w3.org>
Hi Eric,

Nice summary.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Eric Jenkins [mailto:ejenkins@engenia.com]
> Sent: 24 July 2001 04:40
> To: 'xml-dist-app@w3.org'
> Subject: Issue 107: Clarify the terms application, actor & related
> notions of identity.


> First, application is never explicitly defined in the SOAP specification.
> One could construe that a SOAP application is implicitly defined in 1.4.1
> under the SOAP definition as a mechanism that "[generates] and [accepts]
> SOAP messages for the purpose of exchanging information along a SOAP
> path."  This definition implies that an application can be the originator
> a SOAP message, the receiver of a SOAP message, an intermediary handler of
> SOAP message, and, potentially may serve multiple of these roles.  This,
> however, begs the question of how a SOAP application is different from a
> SOAP node.  Potentially, it could imply that there exists some notion of a
> 'virtual' application that encompasses all of the nodes that participate
> the information exchange, e.g., the 'client' message sender and the
> message receiver together embody a single 'application', although I don't
> think that this was the intent.  

We did try to address some of this in the abstract model [2]. I think that
maybe we should use more particular language to speak of 'application
entities' and being the things that use the services of the SOAP Layer
(rather than provide those services). With the exception of the reference to
XMLP Handlers (which has become a bit controvertial) the defn at [2] seems
close to what we need.

There are some questions about the relationship between SOAP Application
(entities?), SOAP Processors and SOAP Nodes. The way I have been using the
terms is that a SOAP Processor is an entity that provides the services of
the SOAP Layer within a SOAP Node, whereas a SOAP Application (entity) is a
thing that uses those services. It is not clear whether a single SOAP
processor can act for multiple SOAP Application (entities) and how the
identification of SOAP end-points (intermediary or final) relate to the
identification of SOAP processors and/or SOAP applications. If there is a
1-1 relationship between SOAP processor and SOAP application then the
distinction is moot. If a single SOAP processor can support multiple SOAP
Applications, then I think, a SOAP end-point (intermediary or final) would
identify a SOAP Application (entity) bound to that end-point and implictly
(somehow) identify the (a?) SOAP processor supporting that SOAP Application

The term HOST also got introduced somewhere... so here's how I think they
stack up:

'SOAP Host' refers to the physical device/computer supporting one or more
SOAP Nodes.
'SOAP Node' refers to the logical aggregation of a SOAP processor and one or
more associated SOAP Application (entities).
'SOAP Processor' the local provider of SOAP services within a SOAP Node.
'SOAP Application (entity)' a user if SOAP Services provided by a SOAP
processor within a SOAP node.

Others probably have a different view :-).


> Eric
> [1] http://www.w3.org/2000/xp/Group/xmlp-issues#x107
> Eric A. Jenkins
> Engenia Software, Inc.
> 703.234.1416

Best Regards,

[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/2001/WD-xmlp-am-20010709#XMLPApp
Received on Wednesday, 25 July 2001 09:56:28 UTC

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