Web Services missing the point?
21:30, 20 Nov 2001 UTC | Eric van der Vlist

Focused on Web Services, the opening keynote session from the fourth Forum XML in Paris showed a mismatch between a need for information integration and the current orientation of Web Services toward application integration.

Opening keynotes at the fourth Forum XML in Paris

Frank Gilbane Highlighting developments since last year, Frank Gilbane described a general move of focus from computing to communication as organizations are increasingly concerned by using their computing power and budget to communicate rather than just "perform operations." He concluded that "Enterprise Information Integration" is becoming more important than "Enterprise Application Integration."

ChauvetEven though Gilbane affirmed that Web Services would be a key technology in this evolution, the next keynote speaker, Jean-Marie Chauvet gave an analysis of the motivations behind Web Services, showing a clear bias toward RPC like applications better fitted to application integration than information integration.

This mismatch, clear when comparing the presentations of these two speakers echoes a debate kicked off by Roger Costello last month on XML-DEV wondering what SOAP could bring to information interchange over XML document exchanges using more traditional protocols and infrastructure.

Re: Web Services missing the point? (Todd Boyle - 01:16, 17 Dec 2001)

I think you're saying, we need standard horizontal vocabulary or objects for the party, product, location, postal address and other things.

UN/CEFACT domain groups still don't harmonize on *anything*, after all these years. and eBTWG has institutionalized their differences, giving them permanent control over incompatible "industry" vocabularies through the mechanism of "context".

Needless to say, the information models of X12 domains harmonize neither with each other nor internationally.

OMG Interop 2001 in Orlando, 80 participants from dozens of organizations agreed lack of common vocabulary is one of top-5 inhibitors of effective harmonization or coordination *between standards bodies*. See the powerpoints at

The technology industry might consider creating some basic horizontal e-business vocabulary, yourselves. Begin with RM/ODP vocabulary (ISO 10746), a normative, reconciled vocabulary which encompasses a great many real actors and processes as well as system artifacts. Build horizontal core components based on Oct. 2001 ebXML Core Component naming/structure. You have some basic Types with content models to begin with.

Blow right past these UN/CEFACT and X12 domains. I doubt they will ever agree on anything but twisted, inaccurate vocabularies that tilt the playing field in the direction of their own domains and users. TOdd BOyle Kirkland WA

Re: Web Services missing the point? (Bill Pope - 22:26, 29 Nov 2001)

I'm sorry I missed the discussion on XML-DEV. There didn't seem to be a whole lot of debate, just refinement of terms, with everyone landing squarely on the side of the document-centric model. After spending years with Apollo NCS, ONC RPC, DCE, and CORBA I can only add my support to the document-centric model. The success of web services depends on loosening the tight coupling between the caller and the service. This provides a natural extensibility by allowing late binding to internal or external services that can work with extended documents and sub-documents.

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