16.4. HTTP Endpoints

This is one of those "should I or shouldn't I" topics to me. The setup, configuration, security, and many other aspects of HTTP endpoints are largely in the administrator's realm. The problem is that the notion of using them as a native Web service is most definitely a developer's realm item. So, I'll take a middle ground here: we'll discuss what they are and get a concept for their importance in design but shy away from some of the administrative aspects.

NOTE

HTTP endpoints are not supported in SQL Server Express. Also, Windows XP does not support some of the necessary underlying technologies. So, if you or your application will be using SQL Server Express or Windows XP, you will need to stay away from HTTP endpoints.

So then, what are HTTP endpoints? Well, it is a concept that comes from the world of Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). The idea behind SOAP is to get around many of the firewall issues that exist when you try to get to services over the Web. Prior to SOAP, there would often need to be some special port opened up, and binary calls were often made between objects. The problems with security were huge, and IT departments rebelled at the notion of opening their firewalls up to such access.

SOAP provides for the idea of making a request over normal HTTP. You supply a SOAP packet, and it contains a method request along with any parameters required. Since the SOAP packet is just a bunch of text containing the information needed to understand ...

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