Throughout this text, you’ve seen a variety of different web services and technologies for connecting to web services. At some point, this wide array of options will transition from the interesting to the onerous. As of this writing, SOAP and WSDL are enjoying broad adoptions (e.g., both eBay and PayPal have released SOAP/WSDL interfaces).
This chapter first describes some of the more futuristic web service technologies, including REST, UDDI, Rendezvous, and BPEL/BPEL4WS. Then, based on the information in the book, we’ll look at the future of web service development, considering ease-of-use, the need for a business model, security, and finally a way to consider the consolidation of web services.
The number of technologies lumped with web services is often overwhelming. In this section, I’ll describe REST, cited by some as an alternative to SOAP, the UDDI registry; local service registration with Rendezvous; and touch briefly on BPEL.
Representational State Transfer (REST) is a SOAP alternative. An elegant description of REST can be found at http://www.xfront.com/REST-Web-Services.html:
Representational State Transfer is intended to evoke an image of how a well-designed Web application behaves: a network of web pages (a virtual state-machine), where the user progresses through an application by selecting links (state transitions), resulting in the next page (representing the next state of the application) being transferred ...