Support for web services in Python is emerging, but is not complete. At the time of this writing, there is lively debate in the XML-SIG (Python XML Special Interest Group; see http://www.python.org/sigs/xml-sig/) concerning SOAP client and server implementations and their ability to interoperate.
SOAP and WSDL, and therefore web services, are being driven largely by companies such as IBM and Microsoft. Microsoft has robust client and server support for web services in their SOAP Toolkit, while IBM is making headway contributing to the Apache SOAP project. Both camps feature support for two common styles of web service access: RPC-like proxy access, and SOAP Serialization access.
You can implement Python web service clients easily today by using one of Python’s bridge mechanisms into subsystems such as COM and Java. Python’s COM support is excellent and is enabled by installing PythonCOM (part of the win32all.exe package from the ActiveState web site). Detailed instructions are provided in Section 9.4.1 later in this chapter.
Through the accepted APIs of web services today, you’ll likely be able to quickly adapt your Python code to use native Python web service support when it matures, although it may be more desirable to write your logic in Python but utilize APIs from Python that are implemented in faster C++. Python makes a great glue language due to its robust object model, sophisticated text and file manipulation, and component access. Utilizing components ...