The Correct Use of SOAP


In an article entitled "Web Services: Is it CORBA Redux?" Gordon Van Huizen writes:

Similarly, Web services installations will require a scalable software infrastructure that offers directory services, SOAP routing, service management and pluggable security across the enterprise. Enterprises that fail to plan for this will not be able to fulfill the promise of Web services as its adoption grows.

I like this quote, but its not actually the main point of the article.  The main point is (let me put this simply):

  • Message-based SOAP: good
  • RPC-style SOAP: bad

While I agree and happen to have a good feel for what he's talking about, having been involved in building some pretty large CORBA based applications, I think the overall theme needs expansion and repeating.  

There's no silver bullet that will remove the incredible complexity of fine-grained concurrent programming.  Moving all the applications further away from each other, having them built by disparate teams, and not being able to ensure that they'll even be there when they're needed makes the problem even more difficult.  RPC has been around for three decades.  Adding an XML front end to it is just putting lipstick on the pig (and a real ugly color of lipstick at that).