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

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Hi Paul,

Paul said:
----- > Please consider the comments relating to SQL over the Web at the
> of this document:
> http://www.prescod.net/rest/rpc_for_get.html

Didier replies:
Creating a mapping from URL to sql is an avenue. It offers the opportunity
to reduce the URL complexity. However we may have difficulties to offer a
rich expression media for queries (in the context of relational DB) as is
sql. We can also use the kind of queries previously mentioned in this list
but the problem now is a lack of standardization in the parameter naming and
some inherent bogus in the URL syntax. if we express a sql expression as:
http://mydomain.com?sql=select+name+age+address+from+client+where+age=25 we
have a URL breakdown. It implies that we have to encode the query with
special characters. If we use special characters then the query is harder to
express than with the actual HTTP POST containing an xml document (used to
encode the sql query in a natural way). XML is a lot more versatile and
expansible than URLs. And this is where the catch 22 reside. If we use a
mapping then we no longer have sql. I have to admit that this not an easy
issue to resolve.

But overall, I agree with you that simple queries like for instance search
queries, can be very well expressed with a URL and the document returned
formatted with something like RDF or with topic map specifications. However,
this would provide a common interface to the search engines and as you know
and how Michael Porter explained it some years ago, this will put more power
in the hands of the customers and less in the hands of the vendors. And this
is probably the biggest issue. Vendors will always try to create barriers of
entry and resist to being reduced to a commodity. SOAP reduces the power of
the clients and we're back to square one, Microsoft embraced and expanded
and fought hard to keep its monopoly. And it serves the IBM game plan by
practicing a divide to conquer and balancing the power between Sun and
Microsoft. I would prefer to see Google announcing that they are now
supporting RDF or topic maps than having them announce that they support

Didier PH Martin


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