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Mike Champion wrote,
> I guess my question is, "If HTTP is so general, why are vendors such
> as BEA, Tibco, Progress, etc. moving to other protocols to "ensure
> delivery of XML documents" via web services? It's easy to agree
> with Mark Baker (especially after browsing the REST Wiki) that in
> principle HTTP is a 99/1 solution for internet communications, so
> why is the world backing away from this in practice?
Because HTTP isn't any such thing. HTTP is a synchronous, point to
point, almost realtime, online protocol. That's inappropriate for huge
classes of real world transactions.
As an simple example, take any business transaction more long-winded
than typing in credit card number, hitting a submit button and getting
a near instant response. Perhaps the transaction has to be approved by
a person, so processing takes a couple of hours (maybe much longer if
it arrives late on a Friday evening). What might the requestor want to
do in the interim? Disconnect from the network? Move to a different
endpoint? Or perhaps there's a network partition during the
transaction, or an unfriendly intermediary decides to time out an
apparently idle connection.
HTTP just wasn't designed for that kind of communication model.
Miles Sabin InterX
Internet Systems Architect 27 Great West Road
+44 (0)20 8817 4030 Middx, TW8 9AS, UK