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   Re: [xml-dev] What does SOAP really add?

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On Mon, Apr 22, 2002 at 08:19:32PM -0700, Joshua Allen wrote:
> > I shudder to think what will happen when someone tries to publish
> > a SOAP API with a more complex schema.  We won't get interoperability
> > by waving the magic WSDL pixie dust, and we'd be significantly
> > better off with some kind of task-specific XML document structure
> > with REST.
> This FUD is getting more strident and ridiculous by the week.  Not only
> does WSDL+SOAP work, hundreds of companies are using it in
> mission-critical systems.  I would be shocked if more than half of the
> fortune 500 didn't have production SOAP-enabled systems in some part of
> their enterprise.  

Oh, yes.  The age-old "it's already deployed in mission critical
systems of the Fortune 500" argument.  Sorry, but that's not a very
compelling argument.  It wasn't compelling when it was applied to
PowerBuilder systems 10 years ago, or dBase systems 15 years ago.

And it wasn't a compelling argument when those systems were replaced.

The SOAP systems I've played with in the past have been all over
the map.  Some are sensitive to parameter naming, but not to data
types.  Others, the reverse.  Still others have been sensitive to
parameter positioning and typing.  I fail to see how that leads to
widespread interoperability.

I also fail to see how widespread deployment (if it really exists
to the degree you assert) addresses the issue of interoperability,
rather than simply functioning.  Especially if those systems are
simply "SOAP-Enabled" and don't actually use SOAP.

> But all the thinking and shuddering (or was it fear and
> trembling and doubt) in the world doesn't change the simple *fact* that
> this stuff works, and lots of people buy the value proposition.


Exactly which "value proposition" are people buying?  That "stuff
works"?  Or that "stuff works interoperably"?  

I really don't care about the first proposition; if that's really
the best solution for you, then Go Be Productive with it.  Please.
If it works for you, then why should I care if it's using SOAP,
Forth or SGML?

But don't tell me that a technology is interoperable simply because
one, two or three well-chosen implementations "just work".



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