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Middle tier Web services

Can Web services be used as a middle tier? How can we do it? How are the transactions carried on?
Web services technologies (XML, SOAP, WSDL, etc.) define a key interface into the middle tier.

A common model for a three tier system is:
- Data Management Tier
- Business Logic Tier
- UI Presentation Tier

The Web services technologies allow you to create rapidly reusable program-to-program communication interfaces. Those interfaces can allow access to any of the components (at any of the tiers) depending on your design choice. For example, RDBMSs are now shipping with native Web service interfaces. However, the most common case is that you put a Web service interface into the middle business logic tier.

Today enforcement of transactional integrity is typically done by the infrastructure that implements the business logic (for example a Java Application Server) or the data management (for example a RDBMS). We are not currently seeing transactional integrity being enforced in the Web services infrastructure itself. The Web services infrastructure is focused on communication related issues: security, monitoring, standards interoperability, service virtualization, etc.

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