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Web Services

Hemos posted about 12 years ago | from the wave-of-the-future dept.

The Internet 222

Erik Sliman writes "Why are all the IT companies suddenly interested in open standards with web services? An OpenStandards.net article explores the issues surrounding the somewhat vague term."

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222 comments

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3395611)

life sucks, i hate canada, and i hate school and decisions.

Hate school? (-1)

October_30th (531777) | about 12 years ago | (#3395693)

Congratulations!

You've got a fabulous career of pumping gas ahead of you!

Burt Bacharach Tells It Like It Is (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3395741)

L.A. is a great big freeway,
Put a hundred down and buy a car.
In a week, maybe two, they'll make you a star.
Weeks turn into years, how quick they pass.
And all the stars that never were,
Are parking cars and pumping gas.

DUM, DUM, DUM...

Re:Hate school? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3395756)

Fantastic. Instead of helping the guy, who is obviously depressed, you rag on him.

Re:Hate school? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3395823)

no way, jose. just because i hate the way school is going right now doesn't mean i'm going to drop out. we're not all fuckwads like you who give up on stuff...

Fagass (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3395613)

Frosted Piss

About the Troll Library (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3395631)

In my development of the Troll Library and the Troll Library Technology, I have received many questions and concerns in reference to the Troll Library and its use on $lashdot. The intention of this post is to "clear the air" of the misunderstandings and incorrect assumptions which have been posited about the Troll Library.

What is the Troll Library?

The Troll Library is a database of the best and brightest trolls of $lashdot history. The database is SQL 2000 and is managed by Microsoft C# using .NET technology.

How can the Troll Library be accessed?

The Troll Library is not yet available online, but it will eventually be made publicly available in the form of a .NET web service-- That means that you will be able to browse the library and submit your additions with your web browser (yes, even an inferior piece of shit like Mozilla, since Microsoft for some reason chose to include "down-level" compatibility with their web services in .NET).

What's the ultimate goal of the Troll Library?

To crapflood $lashdot into oblivion using Microsoft technologies.

What does the $lashdot community think about this?

Using Microsoft .NET to annihilate $lashdot really pisses off the $lashdot community, which is hilarous.

Do you sit around and read $lashdot all day?

Of course not. The client troll poster bot automatically detects a new story on $lashdot, selects a post from the Troll Library database, and submits it to $lashdot. The client is written purely in C# using Windows Forms in .NET. It would be impossible for $lashdot server to detect the presence of the bot, except for the "Dirty Linux Users:Are Hippies" header.

What if they crack down?

If the 'editors' (I use the term loosely) were to ban the RoboTroll or Troll Library posts, the posting client would have to become open source and avialable to everyone. The irony and humor is very rich indeed.

How can I help?

The single biggest need is a .NET server with the bandwidth capable of being $lashdotted. Please make your plans and prepare accordingly; when the time comes, we want you to be ready. What you will receive is nothing more than a .ZIP file to unzip to your inetpub\wwwroot folder.

If you are running Apache or some other open source derivative piece of shit, I can only laugh at your sad ability to serve up plain ol' HTML. You sad and pathetic, and I fear for your future career-- or lack thereof. HAHAH!!!

Thanks!!

No - Thank you, the honorable and noble Trolls of $lashdot, we all know that WE are the lifeblood of $lashdot itself, and it would wither and die without US .

Do not attempt to email me (email is bullshit of course) or otherwise, just reply to this post; replies are automatically indexed and delivered to me.

Re:About the Troll Library (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3396045)

open source it you fuckwit. prove it or shut up.
i dont believe you. show us the code.

Well (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3395639)

At least Web Services don't force me to run binaries on my system to do stuff. But I'd rather have local applications running in a well-defined sandbox.

It's Like Most Bandwagons... (4, Insightful)

telstar (236404) | about 12 years ago | (#3395647)

Those that lead have the most to gain, and those that follow stand to lose the most if they don't jump on board...
The success or failure of the actual concept is secondary to how soon they joined the party.

Re:It's Like Most Bandwagons... (2, Interesting)

cbowland (205263) | about 12 years ago | (#3395701)

Funny you mention that. Below is the text of an email I just received from oreilly. I guess you can't hop up on that wagon fast enough (too bad the stepstool is so bloody expensive).

Planning for Web Services is a new report from O'Reilly Research, written by industry visionary Clay Shirky. This report guides CTOs and CIOs through the inflated claims, competing standards, and amalgam of acronyms to arrive at a realistic appraisal of the business impact of Web Services. Topics include how Web Services can replace EDI, who the major players are and what they really offer, as well as the hurdles to implementing Web Services today. A must-read for anyone developing a Web Services business strategy. $495 Save $100! Just use code # wsrelj when ordering by phone (800-998-9938 or 707-827-7000) or email (order@oreilly.com) and you can get this invaluable report for only $395. Offer expires May 10, 2002

Re:It's Like Most Bandwagons... (0)

20721 (547136) | about 12 years ago | (#3395833)

Yeah, like selling furniture and pet food online? First time mover advantage!!!

Re:It's Like Most Bandwagons... (2)

interiot (50685) | about 12 years ago | (#3395925)

Microsoft uses this pretty effectively. People will jump on bandwagons without knowing all the details, so Microsoft spreads enough half-truths to encourage people to jump on their bandwagon instead of someone else's. After being on the bandwagon for a while, the users realize that microsoft's many bandwagons have rounded up millions of people and brought them back to the Microsoft ranch, and it's going to cost them extra if they want to get out.

Web Services is Hype (0)

johann909 (241219) | about 12 years ago | (#3395677)

Web Services is just more hype. It doesn't offer anything new that couldn't be done with rpc. It just wraps method calls in XML and allows you to register your service in an internet phonebook-like registry. It is going nowhere, and so are you if you waste too much of your time trying to find out how to kludge your it infrastructure with this crap

Re:Web Services is Hype (1)

stu-pendous (445253) | about 12 years ago | (#3395792)

It depends on what your infrastructure is... I could see how this might be useful in large Wall Street firms that deal with disparate feeds and formats of market data. But I agree... this is not for everyone.

Re:Web Services is Hype (4, Insightful)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | about 12 years ago | (#3396033)

It doesn't offer anything new that couldn't be done with rpc.

No one is claiming that it isn't rpc, but it is an agreed-upon open standard for rpc across public networks using simple transport protocols. No one else is doing this, and CORBA is web services so don't offer that up as a reply.

Becuase of Stupidity of course (4, Interesting)

Telastyn (206146) | about 12 years ago | (#3395681)

It's becoming more and more common that the "Internet" is just Internet Explorer to most people. So some smart fellow thinks it'd be a grand idea if services could be served this way, to appease the lowest common denominator. PHB's get ahold of it, and wham! off it goes to the media, and in 2-3 years everyone (hopefully) realises what a bad idea it was.

If you want a unified 'client' for all services, make one, don't kludge everything onto http. Please...

That's what happening (3, Interesting)

wiredog (43288) | about 12 years ago | (#3395765)

Well, sort of. The PHB's are realizing that web browsers aren't the best way to do web services/web applications and are looking for a better one.

The problem is that everyone has a web browser. Anything that aims to replace it has to get high distribution at low cost. You want all your customers to have whatever client you use. And it has to be based on a standard so that even if the customers client isn't exactly what you have, it's close enough.

And this is in a world where it can be difficult to get IE and Mozilla to play nicely together.

Re:Becuase of Stupidity of course (5, Insightful)

smagoun (546733) | about 12 years ago | (#3395778)

OTOH, HTTP is pervasive. So are HTTP clients. It's the "write once, run anywhere" model that Sun's been pushing with Java for so many years. You run the app in one place (on your server), and it's accessible to anyone with a computer and a modem. It even works on PDAs, phones, etc with a minimum of effort. I'll be the first to agree that HTTP isn't the best way of doing things for most apps, but the industry has never been about "best". It's about "good enough" and market penetration.

Designing your own protocol takes time, and implementing it for each OS/hardware combo out there takes even more time. Why bother to do that, when you can leverage a protocol (HTTP) and client software (browsers) that are already everywhere?

From management's point of view, web services are a no-brainer....

Re:Becuase of Stupidity of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3395837)

Designing your own protocol takes time, and implementing it for each OS/hardware combo out there takes even more time. Why bother to do that, when you can leverage a protocol (HTTP) and client software (browsers) that are already everywhere?

As an extra, while people are designing protocols for web standards to be used in the future, they can use HTTP now and prove the concept without forcing administrators to open new ports in their firewalls or learn about the new protocols to monitor the newly-opened ports. Eventually, web services, if they're successful, will move to their own protocols simply because http was not designed with them in mind, but in the short term http is the easiest way to prove that it can be done.

Re:Becuase of Stupidity of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3396019)

Well, from my experience, everytime any of my users seem to try to code a server it requires random ports and suddenly they expect me to open up 64000 ports in my firewall because they coded their apps without ANY thought of passing it through a firewall. Well, you know what guys? NO. Take your Netmeeting and shove it up your ass.

Re:Becuase of Stupidity of course (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3395798)

On the other hand, web-ifying everything is an absolute godsend to firewall administrators! I don't have to go and open up every port everytime my idiot users want to use yet-another application. If it works through the web proxy, fine, I'll look the other way as long as you don't bug me. If you need me to open a port in the firewall to get it to work then you better have a damned good reason and a security plan for it to justify it. I know that most whining slashdotters are college kids who think everything should be wide-open, but in the real world that isn't how it works. Default deny everything inbound and outbound should be the norm for anyone even remotely interested in security.

Re:Becuase of Stupidity of course (2, Insightful)

Telastyn (206146) | about 12 years ago | (#3395856)

*nod* though what sort of security do you gain if everything you could do on a "wide-open" setup, could be done via port 80?

Think a little.

Re:Becuase of Stupidity of course (5, Insightful)

ethereal (13958) | about 12 years ago | (#3395874)

So, you think you know security, but anything that's tunneled through HTTP/HTTPS is OK with you? You really don't understand security.

SOAP et al are a mistaken implementation for exactly that reason, in a typical Microsoft fashion: by running everything over HTTP, we can get things working quickly without wondering whether they are secure. Later on, there will be a ton of SOAP security holes and information leaks, but we won't be able to plug the hole properly since we can't cut off HTTP without strangling our businesses. I love innovation without cogitation.

An absolute godsend to good firewall administrators would be to have specific services on specific ports so that you could easily audit the use of such services separately and have a better handle on what's going in and out of your 'net. You could, for example, inspect SOAP packets for a particular service without having to slow down all traffic through your HTTP proxy. But since you're a lazy bastard, I bet you don't care :)

Re:Becuase of Stupidity of course (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3395972)

I don't have time to open ports, I am too busy reading slashdot. :-)

FYI: SOAP is not transport/port specific (3, Informative)

e2d2 (115622) | about 12 years ago | (#3396177)

FYI: SOAP can be used on ports other than just 80 and used by transport protocols other than HTTP/HTTPS such as SMTP, FTP, Jabber, and BEEP:

http://www.pocketsoap.com/specs/smtpbinding/
ht tp://beepcore.org/beepcore/beep-soap.jsp
http://x ml.apache.org/axis/
http://mailman.jabber.org/pip ermail/rpc-jig/2001-O ctober/000016.html

Just a few links but you can search www.google.com and get an idea of what SOAP really entails.

Re:Becuase of Stupidity of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3395892)

How is this insightful? The whole idea of tcp/udp ports was that service multiplexing would be done at the transport level, and things like tcp wrappers, proxies, etc., can be used to ensure service scalability/reliability/security. Now, just because firewall administrators are stupid, everyone has to multiplex at the application level, making everything fragile.

Re:Becuase of Stupidity of course (1)

goldspider (445116) | about 12 years ago | (#3395941)

"It's becoming more and more common that the "Internet" is just Internet Explorer to most people."

Very true! I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that the first contact many people had with "The Internet" was Internet Explorer... which was conveniently disguised by that "The Internet" icon in early versions of Windows 9x.

It's no wonder why people use Internet Explorer and The Internet synonymously.

Oh come on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3395987)

Back in the Netscape days "The Internet" meant Netscape for many (stupid) people.
Even now, for many (also stupid) people, "The Internet" is AOL.

Most people don't have any idea how the internet works, hence, when a site is down I still hear about how "The Internet isn't working".

Re:Becuase of Stupidity of course (1)

feldkamp (146657) | about 12 years ago | (#3396044)

Whoa there...

Web services != HTTP Web services

While web services can be used over http, even microsoft is pushing to not use http, merely because http was not designed for this sort of thing.

Re:Becuase of Stupidity of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3396153)

from what I understand they are using XML, or a derivative, which is a replacement for HTML, where html is the language, and http is the protocol.

from what I understand they are still piggy-backing the protocol.

How could they not be? (5, Insightful)

FurryFeet (562847) | about 12 years ago | (#3395685)

In today's world, connectivity is key. You pick up a phone and expect to be able to call any other phone on earth (granted, it may be expensive or hard, but it is possible), no matter if it's in another country, company, if it's a celular or a satelite phone.
That expectation moves to the Net. If you're going to hire net services, you expect to have a unified system that will allow you to do anything with one interfase, one bill, from anywhere.
Now, I can only see two posibilities for that to happen. One is Microsoft, but fortunately I see a trend where less companies are willing to empower the BMFH (Bastard Monopoly From Hell). The other is open standards.
And yes, this is a Good Thing (TM).

AKA RPC over HTTP (2)

alext (29323) | about 12 years ago | (#3395696)

In short, this is a simplified XML version of COM, CORBA or EJB, only without the specific requirement of a "component", "object", or "bean", or anything except... well... a "web service".

For those wishing to simplify CORBA or EJB in the privacy of their own homes, the secret is to make the Service an Object. Now you would never have thought of doing that if I hadn't told you, would you? That's why Web Services are different.

Oh well, someone who puts 'simplified' and 'XML' in the same sentence is probably nuts anyway...

Re:AKA RPC over HTTP (0)

johann909 (241219) | about 12 years ago | (#3395746)

"you would have never thought of doing it if I never told you"... crap I will never think of doing it even though you did tell me. Your post really sucks. You don't know what your talking about.

Trendy (2)

blankmange (571591) | about 12 years ago | (#3395699)

Not only is the "on the bandwagon", but open-source is one of those buzzwords that comes around and sticks in the lexicon of the public. Everyone sees/hears/reads that Microsoft is being sued because, amongst other things, they are not open-source. Open-source must be good then, if the courts are forcing MS to be that. Open-source gets good press; IT companies believe that they would have a favorable image if they offer something that they can point to and say "We use open-source code for that and look how great it is." Also, open-source should be more economical to run/code/acquire than proprietary solutions. I guess the problem with that is, if you are an IT company, why don't you have/use your own solution??

We use web services (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3395706)

At work we've been using web services to make eligibility requests to insurance company databases. The reason it's nice is

1) no connectivity issues, it's just https over the Net, and

2) no data format issues. In .Net at least, you write a web service just like a local procedure. It has parameters which can be arbitrarily complex objects. Hit a button, it exports WSDL. Send that to your partner, who hits another button, now they can call your web service just like they were calling the procedure locally. No muss, no fuss, and any VB programmer can pick it up in a day and start using it.

Hardly one button (1)

Lysol (11150) | about 12 years ago | (#3395857)

xml maps are not easy. while complex types are neat, this is no easy task. xml can be confusing as hell, much more than the objects they wrap.
some stuff does work and yah, it's nice over https, but it's really a technology about 70% hype and the rest maybe some varying degree of usefulness..

Re:Hardly one button (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3395976)

xml maps are not easy. while complex types are neat, this is no easy task. xml can be confusing as hell

The guy who implemented this for us did so before he knew the first thing about XML. It is one button if you're using Studio.NET. I don't know how it is with open-source tools, but if they don't make it this easy, they're behind.

Re:Hardly one button (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3396067)

The .NET tools were created by the largest, most fully-staffed software development house on the planet. MS may not be very good at what they do, but they have *resources*.

The open source tools for "web services"-- not counting the W3C's reference implementations, which were designed as a guide to programmers less than they were to be functional-- meanwhile, were designed by a remote, disorganized group within a community which didn't become interested in web services until VERY recently, and which mostly is still not *that* interested.

Of course the open source tools will be "behind" .NET. :)

Probably the most important thing to understand about the open source community is that it has even more inertia than microsoft. There's so many people and so many differing motives that while "the community" is continually sending out tendrils in every direction, it takes it forever to get it started moving in any serious way in any direction.

The advantage of "the community", of course, is that once you get it moving in a specific direction it's just about impossible to stop..

This is, of course, though, just my opinion, but either way i think it's safe to say that all the open source "web services" projects that will have any serious impact at all have yet to be *begun*..

Re:We use web services (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3395872)

It is this ease of use that Developers and Security Admins need to consider carefully... If you don't look out you are gonna have some rookie VB programer exposing your whole corporate database through a tunneled SOAP connections b/c it so easy that he forgot to put any security checks in or didn't get them auditied... The Security Admins can't do anything about this unless they want to shut off HTTP at the firewall... Wouldn't that make everyone happy.. Sometimes things can be too easy and you need to make sure there are plenty of safeguards in place...

Re:We use web services (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3396030)

True, but you're no more exposed than you are by any other web application. Your vb programmer could write a web service that exposes too much, but he could just as easily write a web page that hits the database and exposes too much. Either way, you don't let a rookie commit code to the external webserver.

Re:We use web services (1)

seann (307009) | about 12 years ago | (#3395908)

Your so a microsoft goon... The only proof I need is to hear you say "SQL" and pronounce it "Sequel."
Show your true userid!!!

Re:We use web services (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3395947)

We're a Microsoft shop at work. It pays the bills. I've been using Java at home.

Never got around to getting a userid.

yes, yes yes (-1)

Yr0 (224662) | about 12 years ago | (#3395707)

yet another !firstpost
i win , you lose
im a happy fluffy bunny, with big monkeys balls.

do you want to suck them?

i also have a rhino horn (i keep it in a jar on the mantlpiece when im not using it to pleasure myself.)

interested?

reply soon.

Easy question to answer (-1, Troll)

TrollBridge (550878) | about 12 years ago | (#3395721)

"Why are all the IT companies suddenly interested in open standards with web services?"

Easy, so that lazy webmasters don't have to (do their job) make sure the servers they maintain conform to any kind of recognized standards.

Lack of dedication can now be explained away with the 'open standards' argument.

Everyone wants our "products" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3395725)


Is usually just marketing hype trying to drum up interest

So a link to openstandards and a link to sourceforge says that every business is interested in their "products" ?

hmmm

how about an independant unbiased review instead of blatent plugging

if this was a report from [insert big corp name here] we would all be crying foul

imagine (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3395729)

imagine a beowulf cluster of these

It's Default (1)

NickRob (575331) | about 12 years ago | (#3395734)

They want a hip name that makes it sounds like they're actually doing something. They really don't know what it means either. They just want to look good and hi-tech.

Microsoft's business model in a web services world (1)

jwinterboy (567531) | about 12 years ago | (#3395744)

I don't think Microsoft is as worried about a distributed computing world as the article suggests.

There are transition points along the way to a truly distributed computing world, however, that it has been worried about. In a truly distributed computing environment, every client, every desktop is a server. Who owns the desktop world today? Microsoft. That is the end-game, and Microsoft is well positioned to capitalize on it.

In the interim, however, before all the "standards" and "security" issues are worked out, server-based computing -- Larry Ellison's proclaimed NetPC -- will surface. Unfortunately, for Microsoft, this is where they are weak. Microsoft knows that there are already too many competing server platforms out there. So, it focused instead on making sure that open protocols were adopted so that any server-based products that are developed will always be compatible with its desktop client. To hedge its bets, it also pushed Passport so that even if server-based computing becomes established, it will have a piece of the pie.

When a truly distributed computing world surfaces, unless the open-source community finds a way to penetrate the desktop client, it will be a Microsoft world all over again.

Re:Microsoft's business model in a web services wo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3395914)

I don't think Microsoft is as worried about a distributed computing world as the article suggests.

There are transition points along the way to a truly distributed computing world, however, that it has been worried about. In a truly distributed computing environment, every client, every desktop is a server. Who owns the desktop world today? Microsoft. That is the end-game, and Microsoft is well positioned to capitalize on it.


Taking a look at MS' research group shows a lot of work in distributed computing anyway, and what we're looking at with distributed computing is more desktop machines, rather than more servers. Sure, the desktops all basically become servers of one service or another, but the machines are still inherently desktop-class systems.

They also moved away from 9x towards NT, where they already have a lot of the remote administration tools and similar things that become important with distributed computing, where a task might need to be delegated on the fly in a particular network if it's priority level changes vs. other tasks (ie to take from a couple of existing distributed clients, we really need to break this encryption now, whereas SETI can wait, so change the tasks on X number of clients accordingly).

Its a good time to .... (2, Interesting)

grid geek (532440) | about 12 years ago | (#3395745)

Its a recession. During boom times like the mid 90's companies were too busy dealing with sales and expanding like crazy to deal with demand. Now that most of the competition has died down, no one expects them to post record profits etc it gives people the chance to think about where to go next.

The web is all very well but HTTP et al. have some serious limitations and were never designed for most of the current technology. For example a dial up connection has the same bandwidth of a dedicated line in the 1970's so ASDL/Cable modems etc were never considered.

The reason for all the demand now is the scientific community and all the Grid projects around the world, just because there's a recession doesn't stop them and their data requirements make Google look like a small fry (20TB of data for Google vs 600TB for BaBar at SLAC [stanford.edu]).

The other issue is business - they've all got on the band wagon of internet sales as an extra sales channel so they can grow this, but its not going to be the sudden revenue increase it was initially. Web Services offer the opportunity for companies to increase productivity and efficency which is why the tech companies are investing in it now so when the economy changes and the corporate clients come back they have something new to go on about.

Re:Its a good time to .... (2)

swb (14022) | about 12 years ago | (#3395911)

Now that most of the competition has died down, no one expects them to post record profits etc it gives people the chance to think about where to go next.

We do that here, except now that its so slow we have the time to think about planning for tomorrow instead of this afternoon there's no goddman money available to make it happen.

It's starting to feel like the Staples shared-pen commercial.

Web Services = Inherently Insecure (2, Interesting)

hndrcks (39873) | about 12 years ago | (#3395770)

Web Services- you take the crackable and exploitable service on port 'X' and advertise it on port 80 or 443. Just as bad, just as exploitable - but now the IT people can't firewall it.

article, in case it gets slashdotted (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3395779)

Web Services Posted by Hemos on Tuesday April 23, @01:06PM from the wave-of-the-future dept. Erik Sliman writes "Why are all the IT companies suddenly interested in open standards with web services? An OpenStandards.net article explores the issues surrounding the somewhat vague term." (and they expect you to subscribe for that, too)

MOD PARENT UP!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3395810)

That's got to be the most informative thing I've read on Slashdot all day.

Re:MOD PARENT UP!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3395848)

Thanks. A friend I have who uses Linux (he's very intelligent) told me that often the top half of the page gets "Slashdotted", so it's useful to repaste the top of the page lower down. I want to do my part in the Slashdot community.

Simply put... (3, Informative)

gUmbi (95629) | about 12 years ago | (#3395786)

Simply put, Web services is SOAP and UDDI. SOAP is like RPC, UDDI is like LDAP. There is nothing really new here.

The reason it is becoming popular is:
A) it uses XML for procedure calls and it has a big-fat standard for type-mapping so it's not tied to a specific language or language-binding.
B) It can piggy-back on HTTP so it works through firewalls.

Web Services may have some issues when network/security administrators figure out people will be using RPC through the firewall.

Jason.

Nicely understated (2)

alext (29323) | about 12 years ago | (#3395930)

Web Services may have some issues when network/security administrators figure out people will be using RPC through the firewall.

Mmmm, yes. Especially when they realize that they can't discriminate based on the target Object (there ain't one).

As we all remember from college, most protocols are layered, which allows encrypted bits to be layered inside routing / security bits, but an XML document can't be layered (it can't contain other XML documents).

The most important application (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3395787)

are the troll services. Distributed peer-to-peer trolling application can use each others trolling function to troll slashdot.
The standardisation of the trolling services is just now happening with the IETF having accepted WIPOs proposal for SGAP - simple goat access protocol.
Futher standards are TSDL (trolling service description language) und UTGC (universal trolling, goatse and crapflooding) and will be approved soon.

Slashdotted, posting anonymously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3395799)

Web Services: the stuff that dreams are made of, or more hype from our
favorite technology gurus?


"You can say this has been a dream of computer
science for many decades. The momentum is there to drive [Web services] to the
same kind of central position that the graphics interface and HTML had across
all the different systems in the past." -- Bill Gates (Source: Informationweek.com, [informationweek.com]
Feb 11, 2002)


In all the battles that Microsoft has had, the one that
has been disproportionately ignored by the technology media relative to its effect
on Microsoft's hopes and ambitions would have to be Microsoft vs. The Internet.
J2EE, Linux, open source and countless other fears of The Stronghold have taken
the show, while few have noticed the potential fundamental impact of the Internet
on Microsoft's business strategy. Microsoft loudly acknowledged the Internet around
1994, pointing out what a good thing it was, hoping that they would be able to
come up with a strategy to defend itself before people realized the Internet was
going to give Microsoft its greatest challenge. The distraction appears to have
worked, as few have considered the consequences this quantum leap in technical
progress could have on this industry giant. To technology purists, the Internet
was about open standards, connectivity, interoperability, peer-to-peer, and, inevitably,
distributed computing. While each of these arrows has threatened to chip away
at Microsoft's proprietary closed Windows platform, none has promised to devalue
the individual machine, Microsoft's pinnacle of success, more than distributed
computing. What became clear in the browser wars was that open standards was the
only way to win any war on the Internet. One may be able to truthfully say that
Microsoft has won the browser wars. Yet, what is also true is that the browser
has just enough holes through the open standards to ensure that no one can stop
the flood of new competitive technologies and open standards from leaking through
it. In this respect, open standards won the browser wars, even if we have to live
with a few idiosyncrasies that can make our browsers a bit obnoxious. Distributed
computing is about getting components and systems to interoperate to create something
bigger, independent of the physical machines the parts are hosted on. As each
computer reaches out to connect to another to create something bigger, the individual
machine becomes less noticeable. It becomes just one of thousands, then millions,
then billions of machines in a world of massive information flows to create what
we call the Internet. In order for this to happen, it was clear to all players
we would have to agree on the standards used to integrate all the components and
processes. While Microsoft had a chance of winning browser wars, in part because
the standards, notably HTTP and initial versions of HTML, were already defined,
and the browser is a user interface on, yes, the individual machine, distributed
computing promises to be different. In the new architecture, value will be defined
by the sum of the [distributed] parts. The ability to participate will define
the value of each piece of code. Aware that this phenomenon was inevitable, there
wasn't a single heavyweight in the industry willing to let Microsoft control how
all the world's computers and components were to connect to create this new era.
IBM, Oracle, Sun, HP, and countless others, with plenty of experience working
on projects to erode Microsoft's influence, were determined to doom any efforts
by Microsoft to control the standard protocols. With everyone willing to agree
on open standards, if, for no other reason, to ensure that Microsoft did not have
a chance, even Microsoft had to concede that the standards would have to be open,
and accepted by all major parties. We call the package containing these standards
for inter-process communications across the Internet "web services". They include
XML based protocols such as Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), and Web Services
Description Language (WSDL), and Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration
(UDDI). It is true that SOAP's inception started with The Borg, in addition to
IBM and Ariba. Yet, when it was submitted to the World Wide Web Consortium's open
standards process, and upon review we concluded there was nothing in there that
gave Windows a distinct advantage, or Microsoft in general, it quickly gained
acceptance even before being declared an official standard. SOAP is the primary
protocol for implementing web services. This XML based standard permits a consumer
to utilize the services of a web services provider. In short, this is a simplified
XML version of COM, CORBA or EJB, only without the specific requirement of a "component",
"object", or "bean", or anything except... well... a "web service". While all
the other web service standards have their place, SOAP is the only one that is
essential for the consumption of a web service. It is possible to create a simple
service and a simple consumer using nothing but SOAP, leaving out UDDI and other
overhead. What's the difference between web services, and COM, CORBA and EJB?
You are not likely to get a straight answer from the owners of the earlier technologies,
because doing so would be tantamount to admiting that they should have begun by
agreeing on open standards in the first place. The important thing is web services
is different; and the real important thing is that, for the first time in history,
all the IT giants in the industry appear to agree. Now we can finally begin large
scale distributed computing. Let's just start wrapping our COM, CORBA, and EBJ
objects in pretty little web services packaging, and pretend like the last decade
of bickering didn't really happen. UDDI, currently managed by UDDI.org, promises
to increase both the value and rate of growth of web services by enabling a more
structured version of what one can think of as a "web search for web services."
By allowing providers to submit descriptions of their offerings, and allowing
consumers to locate all the various web services available for a particular need,
UDDI promises to increase the benefits for both sides of the equation. Currently,
Microsoft, HP, SAP and IBM all manage UDDI Registries. It is worth noting that
Microsoft originally had something called DISCO that does what UDDI does. However,
when it became clear that UDDI was already popular, Microsoft replaced their proprietary
DISCO with its open standard counterpart. Let's give thanks, once again, that
disco is dead! WSDL does not appear to be an offical open standard, yet, as it
has only been submitted to and accepted by the W3C [w3.org]
as a "note", meaning that no one other than Microsoft, IBM and Ariba appear
to have worked on it. Don't tell every else, though, lest you ruin the web services
celebration. For all intensive purposes, it is being endorsed as a standard for
describing in a highly technical and structured way how a consumer of a web service
can access all of a services' parts, or at least that was my take on all the jargon
I read about ports, end points, bindings, messages, operations and french fries.
OK, maybe it didn't mention french fries; but, by the time you are done reading
it all, the one realization that will come to you is that you are probably ready
to eat again. The W3C has a working group called the XML Protocol (XMLP), which
builds upon SOAP to offer standards for implementing SOAP in many different communications
contexts. In trying to be all things to all people, XMLP is committed to being
independent of both programming model and mode of communications between peers.
It is likely to define at a higher level than the original SOAP submission how
our web applications will talk to each other, creating an XML based foundation
upon which we can build, at a distributed level, traditional development concepts
such as even-driven, state-transition and multi-threading programming models.
Why did Microsoft concede the inevitable so quickly and openly and bluntly, not
only giving in to, but helping to foster the open standards, when they have such
a history of fighting tooth and nail for every inch of Internet space? I suspect
that, like the Internet in the past, an offense with strong marketing can once
again hide the fact that Microsoft faces its greatest threat. With all eyes on
Bill's offensive .NET team, who would notice they were really on the defense?
Instead of openly opposing the enemy, Microsoft has chosen to embrace it, hug
it, love it dearly, for the world to see. How, with all that affection, can the
Internet possibly be a threat to Microsoft? Thus, .NET and the open distributed
computing protocols that enable web services are being sold like a marriage made
in heaven. To be sure, despite the Internet, growing global unity on open standards,
and the promise of distributed computing on a scale never before seen in the age
of computers, all hope is not lost for Microsoft. The theory that Microsoft has
chosen to prove is that the individual machine, and its intangible components
(software objects), will still have value in this new world where interconnectivity
is essential. Instead of arguing about how the world's components will connect,
Microsoft is seeking to prove that it can help to produce the best components
at the lowest cost. This is where .NET enters the picture. This is the new sexy
machinery Microsoft is showing off as the primary contender in the oncoming web
services war. With all its marketing might, Microsoft is betting the house on
this new architecture. After all, the only other option is to become irrelevant
in a world where a computer will no longer be considered "booted up" until it
is connected. Microsoft is not alone on the playing field. It has Sun to contend
with. Of course, Sun isn't just a company, but the representative of every J2EE
vendor and Java user out there. Together, they are a force to be reckoned with.
Heavyweights like IBM, whose annual revenues Microsoft still dreams of approaching,
have made J2EE the center of their applications initiatives. Oracle, BEA, HP and
countless others are pooling their efforts together. And, let's not forget various
open source organizations, from Apache to JBoss, like grass roots operations,
they promise to pluck Microsoft from the hearts of countless individual devotees.
Is Sun late to the web services game, as some have said? To this I say what game?
It is clear there will be a game, but it is not clear that the game has really
gone past the kick off. The reality is, a shift like this can take years to evolve.
Web services are poised to grow far more in 2004 than they will in this year,
the year of their illumination. So far, all we see is a lot of gossip, and very
few real life stories. The vast majority of the enterprises that will use web
services have yet to make a commitment to the specific means of how they will
leverage this new technology. Indeed, most are still pondering how they can benefit
from it. If you compare Sun to Microsoft, one can debate who was first to enter
the web services arena. Yet, if you compare them both to the market they are hoping
to appeal to, they are either early, or just in time. Nobody is late. Is it true
that Sun's roadmap is unclear? This has to be viewed from two perspectives. From
a technical viewpoint, we are primarily talking about the ability to take business
processes, and expose them via open standards protocols over the Internet. Does
Sun have a library for doing this? Yes, it does. You can download it freely today,
and begin anytime you like to create your first web services. Is it better than
.NET? This I cannot answer, since I have yet to use either one. However, the question
I have is whether or not the Java community, with its large base, corporate support
and open source initiatives, can produce a better framework over the next year
or so. This seems more important than who was first, since I suspect a year or
two is a better time frame for when web services is likely to really be revved
up on a large scale. The second perspective the roadmap question has to be considered
with is in the area of business. Web services is about more than just distributed
computing. To a business, it is about creating and consuming new services, or
utilizing old services in an improved way. The question each business must ask
is how can they best leverage this new ability to either create new services for
the market, or consume web services in a way that increases their competitiveness
and improves their bottom line. Can Sun or Microsoft really answer this question
for all the businesses out there? Is there a map that any one company can provide?
The truth is, the hardest road to identify is not the technical path, but the
business opportunities. If there is a delay in this game, it is to give pause
to consider everyone's options. It is the great huddle of corporate decision makers
assessing how the next play can help them win the game. To this, I submit, silence
from Microsoft and Sun will do more good. It is not their job to run everyone's
businesses. To return to our original question, is the whole "web services" thing
hype? Web services is at least a solid beginning to a new era of distributed computing
that is as inevitable as paved roads. If web services is not hype, what remains
to be questioned are the tools and services the hype masters themselves know you
do not have to choose. Will .NET be the answer for everyone? Will Java take the
lead through its community involvement and open source support? Will supply and
demand for web services skyrocket in the next few months? These are things to
be hyped. Will web services and distributed computing change our lives? Now I
hear a ring of truth.

Because... (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 12 years ago | (#3395803)

Where i work, the only thing that the end user has on their desktop apart from the standard tools for the job, is IE (no, we dont permit anyone to install Mozilla, basically because theres no point and we wont support it). SO the more things we can pump over the standard http protocol to the end user the better. It gives the end user a standard portal to all the services we provide them, and also its easier to apply a template. And we dont have PHBs here, all these decisions are made by the people that have to implement them, and the people that use them.

Re:Because... (2, Insightful)

ethereal (13958) | about 12 years ago | (#3395928)

Where i work, the only thing that the end user has on their desktop apart from the standard tools for the job, is IE (no, we dont permit anyone to install Mozilla, basically because theres no point and we wont support it).

If you're not part of the solution...

SO the more things we can pump over the standard http protocol to the end user the better.

...you're part of the problem.

And we dont have PHBs here, all these decisions are made by the people that have to implement them, and the people that use them.

I think you're missing the people that think about the consequences of those decisions - you know, things like "does running a service over port 80 magically make it secure?" and "hmmmm, so if we're going to do everything over port 80, what was the point of our firewall again?".

On the other hand, having no PHBs means that you can theoretically turn on a dime and start improving things almost immediately. Good for you!

Re:Because... (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 12 years ago | (#3396021)

I think you're missing the people that think about the consequences of those decisions

Hmmm i see your point, but no, we arent missing the people that think about the consequences, since we are also the peoplethat have to deal with network security and such.

- you know, things like "does running a service over port 80 magically make it secure?" and "hmmmm, so if we're going to do everything over port 80, what was the point of our firewall again?

Im more talking about webservices to internal users, our own internal employees and those on VPNs. Yes, you are right, jsut switching the port doesnt magically secure a service, but then are all services on that port goingto be used as a secure transmission method? no. any service that we run, we code in the appropriate level of security. And firewalls can be made to do a lot more than control access in or out of the network based solely on port number or services type :) Since us implementors are exactly those persons who have identified the problem, researched the solution and implemented a version of that solution, and we have direct longterm access to the end users and the results that our applications are having on that end user, then i dont think we are in a tight spot at all.

Marketing Hype = More $$$ (2, Insightful)

Lysol (11150) | about 12 years ago | (#3395816)

I'm actually knee deep in the poop of webservices and 2++ things that come to mind on this subject:

1. they're not actually useful. i mean, who's gonna publish their auction webservice or requisition web service for someone else to use? it's nice that u can get order tracking for fedex - i guess that's useful - or stock quotes. but, beyond that, there's no point.

2. companies like bea (esp bea) and ibm need more revenue and hyping web services to sell 'corporate developer' tools is their way to go. bea esp. is learning from m$ with their whole 'all in one visually appealing code completion server starting package' server and gui tool. and this appeals to a large market of 'corporate developers'. by corporate developers, and i'm taking this straight from the horses mouth, i mean developers that are not full blown ejb/c/python, etc... people. basically newbies that can open an ide and connect to a db via some sort of control. definitely not vi or emacs people.

however, if u use their tools (which i do, unfortunately on a daily basis), i don't see how a corp dev. is gonna understand hooking into ejb's and such. it's not as trivial as their canned sales demos make it.

it's really all about the market making more money for itself. "oh, well, any app server's can do ejb, but hey, can yours do web services?" check out xmethods, anything interesting there? hardly.

there might come a day where these services are avail for rent as components and that might be useful the same way components are now, but until then, no use beyond the good ol stock quote or google search. come to think of it, is the google search really useful at all?

Re:Marketing Hype = More $$$ (4, Interesting)

rylos (472268) | about 12 years ago | (#3395961)

I agree that the hype is heavy for Web Services. However, I do see benefits for using Web Services.

Making Web Services work in a useful way sometimes takes some creativity. Take Google as an example. With the recent release of the Google API, I was able to use PHP and SOAP to access their search results. One of the methods offered through the service is spell checking. By integrating this spell checking with my company's internal search engine, I now have the ability to make search term suggestions to users. This functionality would be very difficult to provide if it had to be created from scratch.

Web Services will NOT work for all things and in all situations, but they WILL work for some things and in some situations. Creativity is the key.

This article is not standards compliant!!! (2)

curunir (98273) | about 12 years ago | (#3395827)

Anyone else see the irony in an article about standards that has so many grammatical errors?

Re:This article is not standards compliant!!! (2)

PigleT (28894) | about 12 years ago | (#3396018)

...the article probably doesn't validate as clean HTML either, when the rest of the world is way on with XHTML1.0 and XSL and stuff, does it?

Re:This article is not standards compliant!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3396024)

Yeah, what's with "all intensive purposes"? It's "all intents and purposes". What a better way to show the world you're an idiot trying to seem smart.

Re:This article is not standards compliant!!! (2)

daeley (126313) | about 12 years ago | (#3396035)

Ah, but it's "openstandards" which translates to "do it any which way," I believe. :)

Last post! (-1)

YourMissionForToday (556292) | about 12 years ago | (#3395845)

Don't bother reading past this point. I assure you, it's all shit.

Re:Last post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3395917)

Don't bother reading past this point. I assure you, it's all shit.

you are confused... this was not the first post...

We all know everything after the First Post is $hit...

Nobody knew what CORBA was for until the web (5, Insightful)

mmacdona86 (524915) | about 12 years ago | (#3395847)

Not companies routinely make information available to the Internet, and routinely make use of information that other companies provide. Unfortunately, lots of times this is more difficult than necessary since all the information is formatted in pretty web pages for people to see.

Web services just means that you are providing the same data in a format for other companies' programs to use. This is an excellent idea, particularly when you can charge for providing the data.

This was always the idea behind CORBA, but I think people didn't get it because since both ends of the communication were to be programs, it was too abstract. Now that people do these kinds of information exchanges everyday with web servers and browsers, it's much clearer what the point was all along.

Web services takes the CORBA idea and adds the web momentum. You leverage the communication infrastructure built for the web. SOAP is a hell of a lot less efficient than IIOP, though.

Re:Nobody knew what CORBA was for until the web (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3396099)

You leverage the communication infrastructure built for the web.

Right. So you do this by synergizing your paradigm shifts?

They're not (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 12 years ago | (#3395861)

Why are all the IT companies suddenly interested in open standards with web services?

They're not. The only people actually interested in "Web Services" are those who make large-scale business apps, those who are in niches where the technology might help, and those who thrive on marketing buzzwords. The remaining 90% or so of the IT world frankly couldn't give a funny line.

CORBA is too heavy & EJB is too RMI/IIOP depen (5, Insightful)

sleight (22003) | about 12 years ago | (#3395863)

Before I begin, I want to make clear that I'm an XML skeptic. To me, XML is nothing more than formatted text -- utterly devoid of value until two or more parties agree on a shared vocabulary (in the form of a DTD or Schema).

To be simple, CORBA is too entirely too complex. Until recently, even Orbix's (the lead vendor of the pack) offerings have been extremely "flexible" with their degree of compliance to the CORBA spec; Orbix 2.x had CORBA 1.x and 2.x features side by side without any clear delineation of which feature was compliant with which spec.

EJB is respectable if you're a CORBA or RMI shop.

Now, let's be realistic. HTTP is already there. It works. Sure, it's not stateful but, historically, people have been kluging statefulness in using cookies for years. XML isn't necessarily ideal but, if you want to be programming language indepent then you have to choose some sort of format. Why not formatted plain text? Sure, it's a little wasteful on the bandwidth but it's flexable.

To the above mix, we just add UDDI in place of a JNDI or CosNaming and away you go.

Sounds nice in principle but I have yet to see it in practice. ;)

Ummm... hm. Some random thoughts. (2, Interesting)

mcc (14761) | about 12 years ago | (#3395899)

This whole thing has me just kind of lost.

The mess of SOAP and RDDI and GESCOM and all these vaguely XML-related, something-to-do-with-port-80 acronyms don't leave me all that impressed; near as i can gather, they're nothing but platforms for people to build platforms on top of, and they won't be of much use until someone takes the foundation of tangled acronyms and builds a common client app that lets you actually use all of these things. I don't take this all this seriously, because knowing the computer industry, i'm pretty sure that by the time "web services" becomes actual services you can use using programs you can download, these services will be using a specific, jury-rigged enough implementation of "web services technology" that you'll be unable to use a given service except with their specific client, and there will be a huge incompatibility rift between MS-based and non-MS-based web services, and basically all of the nice, compatibility-engineering abstractions that the W3C is trying to put together now will be thrown out the window just because the current "web services" standards are so rediculously complicated that no one will be able to come up with an implementation of those standards that really *uses* the full potential of the protocols.

The thing is, though, i really don't care to understand "web services". I understand the following, and i really think it's all i need to know:
I like XML-RPC, because it gives me a really neat, simple way to do simple message passing between programs over the internet, without any more overhead than is absolutely necessary, it's cross-platform and cross-language, it isn't awkward to use in any of the programming languages i've used it in.


XSLT looks really really awesome becuase it's useful and relatively simple, and i really hope we start seeing some tools that can automatically generate some of the XSLT for you, since like all XML tech it's just really verbose.

J2EE looks *interesting*, and all i wish was that it could be interfaced more easily with other languages. I love Jython, but i don't know if i can embrace Java completely until it's possible to let java communicate with arbitrary languages a bit more easily.

Twisted [twistedmatrix.com] looks neat but i don't think i'll ever use it.

I think CORBA would rock my world if it were a bit simpler, or just if someone would find a way to integrate it with the compiler, or just cut out the complicated crap that surrounds using it. C# (whoo, someone's finally figured out that if you make a bunch of languages with the same features but different syntax and macro between them, people will think it's "language cross-compatibility"..) is not the correct way of doing this.
I think "web services" these days comes down mostly to taking the problems with CORBA (it makes stuff simple! but you have to read a 1500 page book before you can start using it!) and putting <html brackets> around them.

I think this article was very interesting, especially the claim that .NET is just microsoft trying to take existing standards and take credit for them. (Although i found it funny that the article gives MS full credit for SOAP. Wasn't the guy who made XML-RPC on the SOAP creation team?)

I would like to know when someone is going to find the balance between J2EE's "everything is nice and fits together and is simple and you just sit down and start doing object oriented programming, but you're chained to the java vm" and the .NET/'web services' "here's a bunch of complicated, bloated standards that take way more bandwidth than they need and that are so abstract you can use them from any language, but also make so many compromises you really don't want to use them unless you're using C# (or a special version of python written for .NET, or a version of C++ that looks exactly like c#..)

You know, it would be really nice if we had *real*, good, turing complete macro languages built into the popular programming languages. Maybe then we wouldn't have to take the C# route of rewriting the compiler just because you want to make it possible to declare a method a "web service" using a single keyword.

Integration is less expensive (2, Insightful)

estoll (443779) | about 12 years ago | (#3395910)

Everyone is jumping on board because consuming Web Services is less expensive. If everyone jumps on board offering services with an open standard protocol, developers consuming those services won't have to spend as much time learning how to integrate what those services offer. I don't understand why so many people are getting bent out of shape about Web Services. Many of you have spent years working with different protocols, so I can understand your frustration when there is so much hype around Web Services-- you've spent so much time helping distributed computing concepts mature, why can Microsoft come in and throw all my work away? I am curious to know from people who have experience with distributed applications-- what are Web Services lacking? Is there a specific reason that Web Services will ultimately fail? I can fully appreciate your frustrutions if you can forsee everyone jumping on the Web Services ships only to realize it was extremely limited from the beginning and nobody saw its failure from the beginning. However, if Web Services are powerful enough to bring the Internet to the next level, why are they so strongly criticized?

Big Al (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3395916)

Al Gore invented web services

Microsoft blames hype for .net woes (3, Interesting)

terrymr (316118) | about 12 years ago | (#3395921)

Microsoft is blaming industry hype for the general lack of consumer interest in .net services. Their decision to delay the launch of My Services was apparently because of some kind of consumer backlash against over-hyped web services. read the register article [theregister.co.uk]

Shameless Self-Promotion (5, Interesting)

cybermage (112274) | about 12 years ago | (#3395945)

Hey Erik, nice ad:

Organization:
Joshua Branch
Erik Sliman
1449 Larchmont Ave., Dn
Lakewood, OH 44107
US
Phone: 216 228-7361
Email: erik(at)joshuabranch.org

Registrar Name: Register.com
Registrar Whois: whois.register.com
Registrar Homepage: http://www.register.com

Domain Name: OPENSTANDARDS.NET

Created on: Fri, Dec 17, 1999
Expires on: Sun, Dec 17, 2006
Record last updated on: Wed, Mar 06, 2002

Administrative Contact:
Joshua Branch
Erik Sliman
1449 Larchmont Ave., Dn
Lakewood, OH 44107
US
Phone: 216 228-7361
Email: erik(at)joshuabranch.org

Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
Register.Com
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575 8th Avenue - 11th Floor
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DNS13.REGISTER.COM 209.67.50.208
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Web services can be VERY useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3395965)

For large business problems, Web services can be VERY useful - I'll give you two real examples

You have a database of every Newswire story for the last month. Inside the company you have at least 3 different apps that want to search these wires, and return what the user asked for.

You put the search engine(s) beind the service, and the apps call the service, which get the results as an XML document. The web site does a little XSLT and goes, the Fat clients do their thing, and go. We were doing this a couple of years ago (XML results) - but now we have a way to make it easier

We also have a limited database of tapes that subscribers can order. We return info on orders, contents and the like via web services. It's a way for our clients to attach to our database with their client apps. Yes, we have a web site, but thisway they can have the data they want, they way they want it

A good way to thing of both of these is something like the Google web service

Web services really do matter (2, Interesting)

jamesmartinluther (267743) | about 12 years ago | (#3395983)

While there is a great deal of hype surrounding web services, this group of technologies is going to dominate how the internet is used in the next few years.

It has been an ordeal to get web sites to interact usefully without an end-user clicking on a web page. One big problem is trust. An other is protocol. Sites have so many different ways to get information and to submit information. Worse, site administrators have different ideas about how to make various forms of raw data available to others. Exactly where it is to be found is but one stumbling point, much less how it is structured.

With stuctured data in the form of web services readily available, and clear protocols as to the use of a site's structured data, there will be a lot more interaction between sites and developers of sites.

Most importantly, web services will allow users and sites to become more alike and on more equal ground. This is a powerful change that is already upon us in the form of web sites like slashdot.org and early web services like Napster.

Forgotten the OMG already? (2)

alext (29323) | about 12 years ago | (#3395984)

What's the difference between web services, and COM, CORBA and EJB? You are not likely to get a straight answer from the owners of the earlier technologies, because doing so would be tantamount to admiting that they should have begun by agreeing on open standards in the first place.

Perhaps that's why the "owners" joined the OMG, and later Sun's JCP? However, one company refused to participate in these efforts - I wonder who? If you can guess, congratulate yourself that you're more qualified than the author to write the next Web Services column!

SOAP != HTTP (necessarily) (3, Informative)

oops (41598) | about 12 years ago | (#3396002)

There's a common assumption that SOAP is only transported via HTTP.

From the Apache SOAP faq [apache.org]

The writers of the SOAP 1.1 protocol [http://www.w3.org/TR/SOAP/] note that: 'SOAP can potentially be used in combination with a variety of other protocols; however, the only bindings defined in this document describe how to use SOAP in combination with HTTP and HTTP Extension Framework'.

eg. you can transport SOAP via SMTP.

It WILL happen (4, Insightful)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | about 12 years ago | (#3396003)

The web will at some point be home to more metadata than html. The web at some point will traffic more bots and agents than documents.

Its silly to presume the web will remain only as a document archive with rudimentary data exchange facilities.

This is the first step to really exposing APIs over the network in a truly heterogenous fashion. It will take time, there will be major failures, and there will be a lot of hype, but it will happen.

Deep Throat dead at 53 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3396036)

DENVER (AP) -- Linda Boreman, who starred as Linda Lovelace in the 1972 pornographic film Deep Throat" and later became an anti-porn advocate, died Monday from injuries she suffered in a car crash. She was 53.

Boreman was taken to Denver Health Medical Center with massive trauma and internal injuries after the April 3 accident, hospital spokeswoman Sara Spaulding said. She was taken off life support Monday, Spaulding said.

Boreman's ex-husband, Larry Marchiano, said he and their two adult children were at the hospital when she died.

"Everyone might know her as something else, but we knew her as mom and as Linda," Marchiano said. "We divorced five years ago, but she was still my best friend."

The family moved to Colorado in 1990 and the two divorced in 1996 after 22 years of marriage.

Boreman claimed her first husband forced her into pornography at gunpoint. They divorced in 1973.

Their relationship disintegrated into a life of violence, rape, prostitution and pornography, according to her 1980 autobiography, Ordeal and her testimony before congressional committees investigating pornography.

Boreman said she was never paid a penny for Deep Throat and her husband was only paid $1,250 (U.S.), though the film grossed a reported $600 million.

After leaving the industry, she traveled the lecture circuit on a crusade against pornography, speaking at colleges and with prominent feminists.

"I look in the mirror and I look the happiest I've ever looked in my entire life," she said in a 1997 interview. "I'm not ashamed of my past or sad about it. And what people might think of me, well, that's not real. I look in the mirror and I know that I've survived."

Boreman was born Jan. 10, 1949, in the Bronx borough of New York.

web services not replacing something (2, Insightful)

bigpat (158134) | about 12 years ago | (#3396049)

I think in IBM's mad rush to push web services onto the market, they are neglecting the fact that there is a limited market right now for this sort of thing and they are pushing web services as a way to build all web applications, where it uneccesarily adds another layer of complexity.

Web services is not a way to build applications which are never intended to be accessed by other applications directly.

Ostriches (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3396088)

I am going to get modded as flamebait I am sure, but I think that most of the replies here indicate the prevailing attitude coming from IT workers (not "The Management"),

  • "Another protocol?"
  • "SOAP, don't you use that to wash up? Why would we need that?"
  • "I know X (CORBA,COM,JAVA,etc.) Why do I have to worry about Web services?"
  • "More Microsoft Hype.. We won't be doing that here"
  • "Non-web browsing on port 80?!?! Security risk!!!"
  • "I will just use a custom (ie home grown) interface for my apps, that way, if people want to use them, they have to know the protocol!!"

This is what got us into trouble before... By before, I mean before the rest of the world moved to "IE 6" or "MSN Browser" or "AOL". And "The Management" was being wined, dined, and 69ed by the Microsoft Marketing machine (which is ALIVE AND WELL FOLKS!!) being convinced that Micro$oft software and implementations were the only solutions to your computing problems.

The best way to prepare for these things is to KNOW about them, learn them, get your head around how they work, and their implications... by getting our heads out of the sand. That way, when "The Management" asks your opinion (They might, you never know!) you can speak with authority and confidence and be able to fight the good fight.

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