Two More Web Services Dissenters

Mid this month I listed the top ten reasons why to go slow on the new SOA/ESB architectures. Well I have just found two more Web Service dissenters – and they are fairly influential thinkers. The problem stems around the new WS-* Web Service standards which we pointed out were not yet baked or stress tested.

Here is what Mike Gunderloy at ADTMag has to say : “There was a time (oh, a year or so ago) when I tried to keep up with the WS-* standards. Taken individually, they make stultifying reading; as a whole, theyre enough to bury all but the most dedicated developer. And they pile XML wrapper on XML wrapper, abstraction on abstraction, until the underlying SOAP message is all but lost.” See here for full article.

And here is what Tim Bray XML pioneer has to say: “I Still Don’t Buy It No matter how hard I try, I still think the WS-* stack is bloated, opaque, and insanely complex. I think it’s going to be hard to understand, hard to implement, hard to interoperate, and hard to secure.

I look at Google and Amazon and eBay and Salesforce and see them doing tens of millions of transactions a day involving pumping XML back and forth over HTTP, and I can’t help noticing that they don’t seem to need much WS-apparatus.

I’m deeply suspicious of standards built by committees in advance of industry experience, and I’m deeply suspicious of Microsoft and IBM, and I’m deeply suspicious of multiple layers of abstraction that try to get between me and the messages full of angle-bracketed text that I push around to get work done.” See the details here.

Shades of IBMs San Francisco project where Armonk tried to get out ahead of the gathering n-tier Java development stream and although they didnt miss the J2EE boat and did contribute some very useful patterns …. diplomatically … one call hardly call San Francisco an unequivocal success.

So we return to our original argument – Web Services and some of the critical standards supporting workflow and “long transactions” – are not half-baked …. no no …. just not glazed to a many times taste tested finish.


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