Tuesday, October 18, 2005

WS-Transaction under OASIS custody!

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: http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/tc_home.php?wg_abbrev=ws-tx

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...

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Web Services Addressing and JAX-RPC

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...

Monday, October 10, 2005

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

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

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Where will Europe be in 2010?

You may have heard about the recent enthousiasm about Turkey's 'approval' for starting the entry procedure into the EU. This is certainly good news, but what Europe really needs right now is something more than a loose federation of countries.

In particular, in order to stay (or become) a competitive economy, a lot more action is required to reform the internal household and strategically align all member states. And I am not even mentioning the issue of a constitution here (whether or not that is needed is subject to discussion).

Then what am I talking about? I mean setting priorities straight, and making sure that all that money that goes into funding is really well spent. If we want to become a knowledge economy (the goal stated by the commission itself) then why do we keep spending 40% of the budget on agriculture? By the way, I don't know if it is true but I read the other day that this money actually goes to people who happen to own a lot of terriritory. (Even the British royalty seems to get its share?!)

Also, the money that _does_ go to strategic areas should be spent a little better IMHO. For instance, it is well-known that the current way of funding ICT is more or less a closed circuit. Once you're in the club of players, you get to play along. Why? In part because of the way that ICT funding is measured for performance: the EU seems to value follow-up projects because they re-use previous investments.

While this certainly means that these previous investments are not lost, it is not the most accurate way of measuring efficiency, I think. Instead, it would be better to measure the business revenue that is generated by previous investments. But maybe I am overlooking something, I don't know...

I am definitely not the first to complain about this, but by repeating there is just a bit more probability that someone reads it and can make a difference;-)