Sanity as an approach to web services

Roger L. Costello presents a very sane approach to migrating to web services. In short: REST 1 = SOAP 0.

How far along is the industry in achieving the Web services vision?, he asks, and replies:

* The Web services vision is a mirage at the present. If you jump on it today you will loose.
* The only thing that’s real today is XML. Use it.

Here are his recommendations:

* Focus today on creating standardized XML vocabularies, and learning to exchange XML over the Web.
* Don’t get enticed by dynamic discovery, dynamic connectivity. That’s for tomorrow (2-5 years).Tomorrow will take care of itself.
* Don’t use SOAP, WSDL, and UDDI. I believe that they will be replaced with superior technologies in short order.
* Stand up Web services using standardized XML vocabularies. Be satisfied that you have migrated your company applications from HTML (or some proprietary format) to XML. That’s a big and important step.
* Describe your Web services textually using HTML (see an example of this here). HTML is “good enough” for today.
* Search for Web services using standard search engines – Google, Yahoo, etc. They are “good enough” for today.
* Design XML vocabularies today with your favorite schema language – XML Schemas, DTDs, or RELAX – but be prepared to rip them out within a year or two. RDF and DAML promise to give you the ability to produce vocabularies with much more semantic richness, to enable dynamic understanding.
* Evolve your companies applications to Web services. Don’t take the big bang, revolutionary approach.

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