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

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As others have already mentioned, this functionality already exists in
current database implementations without the ugliness which you suggest.
SQLXML 3.0 templates allow one to create parametrized queries against a
relational DB (SQL Server) and retrieve XML from a URL. 


PS: It saddens me that intelligent people are wasting cycles
pontificating on the pie in the sky that is the semantic
too-fantastic-to-ever-be-real web instead of applying themselves to
solve problems that exist today in ways that benefit the average user
and the average developer. 

Some of us can remember anything, whether it happened or not. 
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no
You assume all risk for your use. (c) 2002 Microsoft Corporation. All
rights reserved.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Didier PH Martin [mailto:martind@netfolder.com] 
> Sent: Tuesday, April 23, 2002 5:12 PM
> To: Paul Prescod; xml-dev@lists.xml.org
> Subject: Re: [xml-dev] What does SOAP really add?
> Hi Paul,
> Paul said:
> ----- > Please consider the comments relating to SQL over the 
> Web at the bottom
> > 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+wh
ere+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 SOAP.

Didier PH Martin

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