OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help



   Re: [xml-dev] [The 4 Waves of Web Services Standards] Re: [xml-dev]WS-Em

[ Lists Home | Date Index | Thread Index ]

Chiusano Joseph wrote:

>I agree that it is quite easy and tempting to consider Web Services as
>being represented by a single "block" of standards, but I believe it is
>more useful to think of it in various "waves" (or phases), and to talk
>about the success or failure of those waves. I assert that there are
>current 4 "Web Services Waves" in sight - one of which is already behind
>us (but still ongoing for future enhancements), and one of which we're
>in the midst of now. These are:
>(1) Core Specifications
>- Your basic SOAP and WSDL, whose early versions are mature and
>ubiquitous, and whose specification is still ongoing; 
>- We have completed the initial "phase" of this Wave;
Perhaps so, but it's been more like a series of intersecting and 
competing ripples. The "mature and ubiquitous" SOAP and WSDL are still 
in an extraordinarily confused state after several years of development. 
After starting off down the path of rpc/enc in SOAP 1.1, which basically 
provided an XML representation for simple data object graphs, this 
approach has now effectively been dropped in favor of doc/lit, which 
uses a schema description of data and leaves the interpretation of that 
data (as objects or whatever) to the applications. However, WS-I Basic 
Profile apparently couldn't swing enough support to *only* support 
doc/lit, so we're left with the alternative of rpc/lit also a part of 
the profile (neither one required, both allowed). This is not currently 
used by much of anybody, but at least some implementations (JAX-RPC 
included) plan to add this just because it's allowed by the profile.

Meanwhile, even such a basic (and necessary, for real-world services) 
feature as attachment handling is left without any single specification. 
We've got the Microsoft-proposed (but then dropped) SOAP with 
Attachments (SwA) standard as the basis of WS-I Attachments - but 
Microsoft doesn't support it, and AFAIK has no plans to do so. Then 
we've got the Microsoft-proposed (but then dropped) Direct Internet 
Message Encapsulation (DIME) proposal. This is supported by one 
Microsoft add-on, and by several other frameworks just so they can 
exchange attachments with Microsoft code, but AFAIK Microsoft has no 
plans to support it in the future. Instead we've got the spiffy new SOAP 
Message Transmission Optimization Mechanism (MTOM, 
http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/WD-soap12-mtom-20040209/) apparently based on 
yet another Microsoft proposal 
(http://www.gotdotnet.com/team/jeffsch/paswa/paswa61.html) that throws 
away all concepts of layering in favor of having everything as part of 
the Infoset and leaving it up to the transport to sort out how to send 
each component. Gee, that sounds like fun - layered protocols are such a 
20th century concept, after all.

Given the ongoing confusion and incompatibilities at the level of 
basics, it looks like Web services have a very long ways to go before 
the current "wave" of WS-* proposals really gain relevance. The one 
exception may be WS-Security, if it does get approved by OASIS and does 
get supported by all the players. Meanwhile, we've got yet another layer 
of hype being added to the top of the Web services heap with the latest 
"SOA" buzz acronym... Ah well, at least it looks like the market for Web 
services training isn't likely to dry up anytime soon.

  - Dennis

Dennis M. Sosnoski
Enterprise Java, XML, and Web Services
Training and Consulting
Redmond, WA  425.885.7197


News | XML in Industry | Calendar | XML Registry
Marketplace | Resources | MyXML.org | Sponsors | Privacy Statement

Copyright 2001 XML.org. This site is hosted by OASIS