Exchanging Information across System Boundaries

Most of the time when we need a foreign system to provide a service for our own system, we need to pass informational data to the service. The services we use sometimes need to provide responses. Thus, we need a reliable way to pass informational data between systems. This data needs to be exchanged between disparate systems in a structure that is easily consumed by all involved. Most of us would choose to use some standard way to do that.

Informational data sent as parameters or messages constitutes just machine-readable structures that can be generated in one of many formats. We must also create some form of contract between the data-exchanging systems, and possibly even the mechanisms to parse ...

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