Opinion: W3C recommendations pave way for efficient, resilient, more secure Web services.
Today marks the entry deadlinereally, we mean itfor eWEEKs Fifth Annual Excellence Awards. Full information is available at www.excellenceawardsonline.com.
As we prepare for the annual flood of last-minute entries, I find that eWEEK newshound Darryl Taft has pretty much written the rest of this column for me with his coverage
of last weeks announcements
of three new recommendations from the World Wide Web Consortium. The W3Cs XOP (XML-binary
offers developers a standard approach to
incorporating binary data in XML documents with minimal storage
and bandwidth requirements;
W3Cs MTOM (Message Transmission Optimization Mechanism)
builds on XOP to make contracts between successive SOAP nodes.
Interestingly, the announcement of the MTOM recommendation never
even uses the word "security," but several observers
to MTOMs support for SOAP attachments
protected by WS-Security
valuable synergy missing
from earlier SOAP attachment models.
Rounding out the recommendations trio, the RRSHB (Resource Representation SOAP Header Block)
invites developers to give
their applications more flexibility in dealing with intermittent or variable-rate connections by making it possible for a SOAP message to include a local copy of a Web-based resource. This can speed initial processing, or stand in for the actual remote resource if a connection is inconvenient or infeasible at the time that resource access is
My own initial reaction to the XOP announcement was a cynical snarl
of "Oh, fine, a standards-based way to wrap proprietary data formats in the Web services flag." A counterargument
from BEA Systems Senior Principal Technologist and active blogger
Mark Nottingham observes that anyone who wanted to do that could do it already, so that the net benefit is noteworthy and the net harm insignificant.
Overall, its nice to see such a comprehensive suite of Web services
refinements that actually treat bandwidth as something worth making an
effort to conserve. Massive
will likely be driven by the demands of
but personal users at the end of bandwidth-limited
wireless links of variable quality will still be the more likely drivers
for much of Web services volume.
Continued refinement in packaging data streams will expand the
usefulness of Web services in many environments.
Tell me what IT resources youd
like to see used more cleverly at firstname.lastname@example.org
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