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   RE: [xml-dev] SOAP and the Web

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-----Original Message-----
From: Bullard, Claude L (Len) [mailto:clbullar@ingr.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2002 9:25 AM
To: 'Mike Deem'
Cc: xml-dev
Subject: RE: [xml-dev] SOAP and the Web

>Can you provide a list of the payoffs for using SOAP?

The payoff is support among all major tool vendors (Sun, Oracle, SAP,
IBM, & Microsoft) & the OSS community. My payoff is that our project can
code today, market tomorrow, sell next week, and quickly return money to
investors. Show me a method/protocol/product that will expedite that
sequence and increase my rate of return and I will use it and encourage
others to do the same.  

>Someone earlier brought up the VHS vs BETAMAX story 
>often used to illustrate how an inferior technology 
>can lead to market lock-in. 

That story has evolved from fact to myth. VHS was developed by an
industry consortium of electronics manufacturers, except Sony. Sony
tried to demand high license fees for Betamax technology. The other 7
electronics manufacturers formed a group, developed a standard that was
less expensive to produce, free of licensing costs, and supported it.
Consumers bought the least cost, highest gain product with the lowest
risk of obsolescence. Econ 101. 

The best technology was decided, by consumers alone, in the free market.
Beta lost due to high price. Price is, and always will be, a factor in
the success of technology, in spite of the objections of engineers and
the academe.

>I assume this fear of 
>lock-in by the major vendors is one reason some fear 
>SOAP, that SOAP and particularly, SOAP/RPC are the 
>inferior technology. 

There is no such thing as major vendor lock-in. If that fact were true,
why is Apache the leading web server? Use jboss (GPL) if you don't like
websphere (IBM). Use perl/tcl-tk/smalltalk/fortran/cobol/et al. and
write your own SOAP tools. Write a brand new tool and convince others to
use, like Larry Wall did. 

I'm not saying SOAP is perfect & without warts. It's not. It just
happens to be the best _available_ choice. By "best" I mean supported
right now in today's world with readily available affordable tools.

Andrew Dubinsky


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