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Re: SOAP services as database query interfaces / SOAP design patterns?

From: Jean-Jacques Moreau <moreau@crf.canon.fr>
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 15:10:29 +0100
Message-ID: <3DDA4655.8040801@crf.canon.fr>
To: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>
CC: www-ws@w3.org

Would this not be covered adequately by a new SOAP feature[1] ?



Dan Brickley wrote:
> www-ws,
> I was looking again at the registry of (public) SOAP Web Services at
> http://www.xmethods.com/ and was struck (again) by the fact that many,
> perhaps most, of these services appear to be based around database
> queries, ie. they return a single item or list of items corresponding to
> record(s) picked out by the argument(s) passed in the SOAP request.
> Lottery results given a region and date. Car rental quotes given a query
> specification. Zipcode to lat/long mappings. Searches against Shakespeare
> etexts. Telephone codes from city names. Weather forecasts from zipcodes.
> Book data given ISBN. Whois lookups. Population size given countrycode.
> etc etc. You get the idea. SELECT/FROM/WHERE-esque use cases.
> So I'm interested in whether this recurring pattern of Web Service
> deployment can be captured for machine use, or less ambitiously, whether
> anyone has offered a more careful analysis than mine of the ways in which
> real live SOAP services are being deployed in the public Web as a way of
> exposing database lookup facilities. I'd like to be able to consult a
> database of SOAP services and pick out those which offer such lookup-based
> information services. I'd like to know which of those have an interaction
> pattern that typically returns a list of 'hits' versus which return a
> single 'hit'. I'd like to know how each service represents a search with
> zero hits versus a search that fails for some other reason (malformed
> query; database temporarily down etc.).
> Basically it strikes me that there is a lot of hidden commonality across
> these lookup-based Web services, and that there would be significant
> benefit to having machine-friendly characterisations of aspects of that
> commonality. Many of them are probably thin wrappers for SQL queries and
> ODBC/JDBC/DBI anyway. My current understanding of WSDL and the Web Service
> Description effort is that it would support richer
> description/classification of these services, but doesn't come with innate
> support for representing these.
> Um, I guess I'm rambling now. The purpose of this mail was to enquire
> whether folk on www-ws could point me to any work on classifying
> query/lookup based SOAP services, eg. using WSDL extensions, RDF/DAML-S etc.
> Thanks for any pointers,
> Dan
> ps. this is related to my earlier enquiry about the use of W3C's XQuery
> for Web Service discovery, see thread beginning
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-ws/2002Jul/0001.html
Received on Tuesday, 19 November 2002 09:11:00 UTC

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