Monday, March 16, 2009


There’s absolutely no doubt about it… Web Services are hot and are here to stay. XML Schemas, SOAP, and WSDL are all indispensable while working with Web Services. Yes, to some extent (and in some form) UDDI too. And let’s not forget the Security related specifications such as XML Encryption, XML Digital Signatures, and WS-Security, which are quite useful when Web Service boundaries extend beyond the corporate firewall. As a consultant and an architect, I have implemented and audited/assessed complex business software systems that leverage Web Service technology as a core part of their architecture. The specifications that I mentioned above are pretty much all that I have used/seen used. Furthermore, all the Web Services have always been over HTTP/HTTPS. So what about all the other Web Service Specifications such as WS-Transaction, WS-Routing, WS-Reliability, WS-ReliableMessaging, WS-BPEL, WS-Notification, WS-Eventing, WS-AtomicTransactions, WS-Coordination, WS-SecureConversation, and so on? While I agree with the theory of these specifications and that most of them are very well written, my question is: Are we making Web Services more complex than they need to be? I am very interested in knowing if any one of you have used or seen these or other WS-specifications used in real-world (existing) systems?

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