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perspectives on open-source and web services

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

skipping a post

I had a post about 'SOBA' typed up, but I lost a large part of it, so I may have to just throw that one out and leave 'SOBA' with just a link and this summary:

Another buzzword does suck, but I like the notion of creating Business Applications (BA) out of Service-Oriented (SO) components. Like Matt's analogy of composing Lx shell scripts or utility programs out of the small, text-processing utilities already available. For SOBA, you lay out your business processes, and then you compose the implementation out of these or those small utility services.

The real post for today is a response to 'Open Servicing' in one of my favorite mags. The synopsis of the article is that Apache Synapse is an open-source platform for deploying web services in an ESB architecture, and that it's a great idea because consortiums of vendors tend to make standards and practices that are overly complex and borderline proprietary.

Some gems from the article:

"It seems as though as soon as the open source community rallies around a technology, the IT industry starts taking it more seriously - and finds practical application for it. "

"...although technology standards are driven by a consortium, the consortiums are primarily representative of a handful of mainstream vendors with large market shares."

"The standards in Web services are becoming unmanageable...As a result, the Web services that are being developed in most organizations are not well thought out."

I've never had to deploy an entire SOA since most of my web services work just involves integrating 2 heterogenous environments with statically discovered services. As such, I'm very guilty of the charge leveled in the last quote there. I would love to see Apache make this a great project to better deploy, manage, secure, coordinate, ... web services.

Right now, I think most developers are just implementing the simple stuff like SOAP and WSDL, or maybe some of the more vital and down-to-earth WS-* standards like WS-Security, WS-ReliableMessaging, WS-Addressing. Some pretty gutsy outfits out there may be doing the whole WS-Policy & WS-BPEL dance, but like the article says, it's complex, confusing, and largely designed to fit into a handful of vendors' product roadmaps.

More and more, I think informed skepticism with regards to WS-* is in order. However, un-intelligent and reactionary jabs from a single-vendor perspective are not in order.


At 10/13/2005 10:52 AM, Blogger Matt Crouch said...

regarding the jab, i think i got as far as "sys-con.com" before i realized the article would suck.

At 10/13/2005 4:13 PM, Blogger luke said...

Aww, that's not fair. Sys-con publishes the Web Services Journal that I like so much.

Of late, they've actually done an okay job avoiding vendor-specific buzz.

But yes, read sys-con with care.


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