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Re: FW: Why web-style session state management doesn't work for web services, methinks

From: John J. Barton <John_Barton@hpl.hp.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2002 10:33:40 -0800
Message-Id: <>
To: "Clemens Vasters" <clemensv@newtelligence.com>, "'xml-dist-app'" <xml-dist-app@w3.org>
At 08:24 PM 1/18/2002 +0100, Clemens Vasters wrote:
>Now, thinking about this, I have come to the conclusion that the
>web-style approach to state management using any of these three
>techniques is (!) utter nonsense (!), because they are all based on a
>completely wrong assumption. They still assume that the client is
>completely dumb and just smart enough to push back an opaque value that
>the server is providing. It is also based on the assumptions that the
>transport is HTTP and that web service call sequences are never

Actually I think that dumb clients and the storage of opaque
content in service offerings (downloaded web pages) by servers
are key reasons for web technology success.  The approach prevents
clients from being bound to one kind of web service and it allows
servers to avoid maintaining session state by sending context back
to the client.  The first advantage supports spontaneous interaction:
I don't need a book-buying app to use Amazon.com and Amazon.com can
sell software without a new distribution of their amazon app.  The
second advantage aids scaling as servers avoid storing a zillion
partial transactions.

<more cut>

>Therefore it's my current state of opinon, that a SOAP header is
>required that defines the current call context and the context origin
>that must be understood by all state managing services.
>To illustrate my point:
><ctx:context contextId="uuid:0B4E71D0-5383-4db2-9BA5-EE17B7E46627"
>              contextExpires="2001-18-01T23:00:00+01:00"
>              soap:mustUnderstand="1"
>              xmlns:ctx="urn:schemas-newtelligence-com:soap:contexts"/>

Looks like a cookie to me.
John J. Barton          email:  John_Barton@hpl.hp.com
MS 1U-17  Hewlett-Packard Labs
1501 Page Mill Road              phone: (650)-236-2888
Palo Alto CA  94304-1126         FAX:   (650)-857-5100
Received on Wednesday, 23 January 2002 13:30:38 UTC

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