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   Document Driving the Web Service

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Of course, anyone who has done this for long 
knows that the hard problem is that unless 
one is very high level (weakly referenced 
semantics), document types for negotiation 
vary wildly.   Each RFP includes terms and 
conditions which must be answered in detail 
and with exacting attention to the precise 
language of each request/response pair.  This 
is very much human-in-the-loop processing. 

Once we drop below the level of document type 
itself, local process controls may take over, 
but these are essentially workflow routing, 
recording responses, etc.  There is not 
enough for a web service to do. The UDDI or 
such can offer a set of high level categories, 
but the user must select an instrument/document, 
then determine its requirements for the 
process or request/response to follow. Once these 
phases are complete, selection and downselection 
begins resulting hopefully in the so-called, 
"shortlist" that starts a best and final offer 
process.  When the award is announced, this 
does not mean product is proffered, but that 
another round of negotiation, the contracting 
process begins.

Some businesses can do business at these levels 
of complex processing, and some can't or don't. 
Environmentally, organizationally, and finally 
personally, there are wildly varying document 
types that might be applied.   So while it 
is systemically easy to say that web services 
offers solutions, or that REST is appropriate 
for this, the tasks that can be reasonably 
standardized after discovery (qualification 
and selection), are not that many.  



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