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   Re: [xml-dev] What are web services ?

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  • To: Razvan MIHAIU <mihaiu@mihaiu.name>
  • Subject: Re: [xml-dev] What are web services ?
  • From: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
  • Date: Wed, 1 Jun 2005 10:54:11 +0300
  • Cc: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • In-reply-to: <429C0951.5040909@mihaiu.name>
  • References: <42992745.40804@mihaiu.name> <4299F111.6060107@mihaiu.name> <2d65934073eec42949f349e3eb6bb2e9@whatfettle.com> <429C0951.5040909@mihaiu.name>

On May 31, 2005, at 09:50, Razvan MIHAIU wrote:

>    However there must be other restrictions for web services. After 
> reading the other definitions I came up with the following list:
> 1. interoperable between OSes (a message written on one OS should be 
> easily readable on another); this seems to imply the use of XML; what 
> other technology can achieve this ?

If you only need to transfer a couple of simple values (a status code 
or an URL), UTF-8-encoded plain text with one value per line would 

> 2. it must be an open standard (issued by Oasis or W3C); this 
> restriction should rule out any "cgi, ejb, perl/php script" as a web 
> service; you could have a cgi acting as a web service but only if it 
> works according to a certain open protocol (this leads us to the next 
> restriction)

I don't think homegrown XML vocabularies over HTTP in RESTian services 
or objects based on homegrown classes over SOAP are excluded. A RESTian 
Web service moving FooML documents back and forth fits the "any CGI" 
scenario, and I'd still consider it a RESTian Web service.

> 3. it must have an open interface (e.g. it must work according to a 
> certain protocol); as I read in another reply there are at least 3 
> protocols to match this criteria: SOAP, REST, XML-RPC

Except REST isn't a protocol.

The only commonalities I can come up with are:
1) HTTP is involved.
2) The service is not designed to be used with a browser showing the 
service URL in the location bar. (However, browsers can act as Web 
service clients using XMLHttpRequest.)

Henri Sivonen


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