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   Re: [xml-dev] What are Web Services for? (Was RE: [xml-dev] lots of WS r

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Matthew Gertner wrote:
> On the assumption that you mean easily from the perspective of the end user
> (as I did), I see two possibilities. I can't for the life of me see what
> difference it would make if SOAP or REST are used, so I'll be interested to
> see if Paul has some insight into this.

To be honest, I don't want to think too deeply about this but all I'll
say is:

 * these kinds of visual interfaces have the most success when the
underlying format is declarative, like SQL rather than programmatic,
like code.

 * the SOAP web services model is ultimately about gluing things
together with code. As my article shows in detail, it falls apart
dealing with declarative languages like XInclude, XSLT, XQuery, RDF etc.
To some in the SOAP world this is considered "no great loss" but my
sense is that it would be a major impediment in the project you outline.

 * similarly, visual interfaces work best when the objects being
manipulated have standardized inputs and outputs. When one glues VB
components together one often (usually?) must resort to basic code
because there is no data flow model and adding things to a "listbox"
requires totally different methods than adding them to a "listview".
SOAP RPC does not help. REST might ... or it might not. It isn't
designed for that but at least the interfaces are consistent. (maybe
interesting product ideas there)

> S1) Most obviously, provide a visual development environment that lets users
> graphically draw workflows that link together XML data sources. I could view
> the cinema listings in XML, drag the name of the movie (in English) into the
> input field of the "queryMovie" command of the Internet Movie Database, and
> select the resulting fields that interest me. I sort of imagine this looking
> like MS Access, with a box for the movie itself with "joins" to Ebert's
> review and the Rotten Tomatoes site. I would then format the output based on
> some sort of report generation interface (also similar to Access, perhaps).

Vendors claim they have this for web services today. I doubt it but
maybe I'm wrong.

 Paul Prescod


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