Archive for October, 2005

WS-Transaction under OASIS custody!

Tuesday, October 18th, 2005

Rumors had been around for a while that this might happen, and it did: the WS-Transaction specs (proprietary work until recently) are now under the custody of the OASIS standards body:

Vendors supporting the WS-TX initiative include BEA Systems, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and TIBCO. This sounds like the kind of industry momentum needed to push acceptance in the market:-)

The new standardization committee is open to anybody - I would participate too if it weren’t for the strict IPR policies used by OASIS…

Web Services Addressing and JAX-RPC

Thursday, October 13th, 2005

With the finalization and publication of Web Services Addressing 1.0 - Core (WS-A) the world of web services has changed drastically (or will do so in the near future).

The idea behind addressing is to allow non-HTTP transports as well as HTTP transports, and even a chain of transports before a message finally gets to its destination. This would mean that a SOAP request can be routed via different platforms (JMS, HTTP, SMTP to name a few) and still make it to its destination. This goes hand in hand with asynchronous SOAP… Another major idea in WS-A is to allow acknowledgements, replies and faults to be returned to other addresses different from the original sender of a SOAP request.

A major consequence is that once again, the JAX-RPC processing model has to be stretched to accomodate this new standard. To see why, let’s consider what happens in a typical JAX-RPC service endpoint:

  1. An incoming request message is received via HTTP.
  2. One or more handlers (intermediaries) are allowed to pre-process the message (mainly its headers).
  3. The service implementation gets the message to do the real (business) part of the job and generates a reponse (if applicable).
  4. One or more handlers get to post-process the response.
  5. The HTTP conversation is terminated by sending an acknowledgement (with or without a response message).

This is almost inherently a synchronous request/reply paradigm, and things like returning a reply to a different address become very cumbersome: this has to be done in a handler that shortcuts the reponse chain and sends the SOAP message somewhere else instead…

Web service transactions: very long, long or just short?

Monday, October 10th, 2005

This is an interesting question. What do you think? Vote here (requires free registration).