Daily Archives: October 12, 2004

Complexity Summary

I’d like to sum up the discussion on the complexity topic, including the SOAP and REST comparison, before moving on to other topics for the blog.
I also still think it would be interesting to try out an XML example, and I hope to get to that soon.
I’d like to thank everyone who participated in the discussion by posting comments. I wanted a discussion, and I got one ;-).
Ok, so what have I learned?
— I still have a lot to learn about REST (and apologies again for the mistakes)
— REST can indeed be useful for program to program communications, and therefore it makes sense to include it within the “Web services” umbrella, as they do at Amazon.com
— REST has advantages over SOAP for simple applications and is also a lower cost solution for many applications
— SOAP has advantages over REST in terms of tool support, an interface definition language (WSDL), and enterprise qualities of service (reliability, security, and transactions)
— Combinations of REST and SOAP based solutions seem very plausible and practical for applications that span simple and complex requirements
— A lot of resentment still exists about software companies over-hyping Web services, and the proliferation of WS-* specs isn’t helping (and of course we had another one today, WS-Management)
A lot of discussion tends to get generated over “what can technology x do” or “what is technology y capable of.” What I’m interested in is what is the best use of technology x or technology y, not what’s possible. As I like to say, it’s possible to build a phone using string and tin cans, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best technology for that application.