News Stay informed about the latest enterprise technology news and product updates.

Part II: It's a Web Services World

What excites many people about Web Services is their usage on the Internet. Already there are sets of functioning Web Services available for use on http://www.xmethods.com/. Typically these expose very simple interfaces, because only very simple kinds of Web Services will scale for usage on the Internet. These Web Services expose large internal chunks of functionality. Annrai O'Toole continues in Part II.


Part II: It's a Web Services World
By Annrai O'Toole


Continued from Page One

Web Services can be used to solve many application-integration issues among applications behind the firewall. However, in order to perform this task successfully, a Web Services Platform must provide the following sets of features:

  • Full SOAP/WSDL/UDDI support
  • Middleware integration (J2EE, CORBA, and MQSeries)
  • Language integration (Java, C, C#, and C++)
  • Packaged application integration
  • Transformation
  • Scripting
  • Transaction support
  • Logging and auditing
  • InterWebs

What excites many people about Web Services is their usage on the Internet. Already there are sets of functioning Web Services available for use on http://www.xmethods.com/. Typically these expose very simple interfaces, because only very simple kinds of Web Services will scale for usage on the Internet. These Web Services expose large internal chunks of functionality. For example, the Federal Express package-tracking system has thousands of internal APIs that support all kinds of internal functions, however, to the outside world it appears to be a very simple system exposing one method: get Status.

The most basic features required for InterWebs are performance and security. No one is willing to put a Web Service on the Internet that neither handles request loads by the millions nor offers the necessary security.

In addition to the straightforward invocations on Web Services that are implemented in request-response style using HTTP or HTTPS, Web Services can support a variety of other calling scenarios. These scenarios will eventually include calling Web Services in an asynchronous manner using e-mail (SMTP) and, as a related issue, the ability to call multiple Web Services as part of an overall transaction.

For instance, in order to display the status of an order, it may be necessary to have the cooperation of multiple intermediary Web Services to complete the task. Making a call to 'getInsuranceQuote' could trigger calls to a variety of insurance providers before returning a response to the end user. In this scenario, it would be easiest to implement the Web Service using an underlying e-mail transport. In turn, each of the insurance providers called may also be making calls in real time to other underwriters to help provide competitive quotes. This type of complex, multi-party interaction with many possible intermediaries is exactly the type of application scenario that many see Web Services being used in.

In addition to asynchronous messaging, there is the issue of security. Particularly in the case of multi-party Web Services interactions, there is a need for an end-to-end security model. Without getting into the thorny problem of delegation in security, the solution to the security problem requires, at a minimum, the ability to sign and encrypt a message and to indicate which, if any, third parties can be trusted with the message.

Therefore, in order to support InterWebs the following sets of features are required:

  • Performance and scaling
  • Asynchronous message delivery and message correlation
  • Security features
  • Complementary development tools

A Web Services Platform

Putting it all together, a picture of an entire Web Services Platform of the future starts to emerge. Ideally, it will support the following:

  • Full SOAP/WSDL/UDDI support
  • Middleware integration (J2EE, CORBA, and MQSeries)
  • Language integration (Java, C, and C++)
  • Packaged application integration
  • Transformation
  • Transaction support
  • Scripting
  • Logging and auditing
  • Performance and scaling
  • Asynchronous message delivery and message correlation
  • Message signatures and trusted intermediaries
  • Complementary development tools

Conclusion

Over the next year or so, we believe that there will be a rapid uptake of Web Services technology. It will provide compelling solutions for application integration and will open the door to a whole new set of Internet-based application models. Web Services will provide the foundation for marketplaces, B2B integration, ASPs, and many new models of cooperation and integration among businesses.

Go to Page One


Copyright 2001, Cape Clear. Reprinted by permission.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

.8tVvawOFlrW^1@.ee85eda>Talk back or comment on this article

The Best Web Links for Web Services

The Best Web Links for SOAP

Free Tutorials for Web services, SOAP, UDDI and more

The Best Web Links for Application Servers

Dig Deeper on Topics Archive

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchSoftwareQuality

SearchAWS

SearchCloudComputing

TheServerSide.com

Close