Back in September I wrote that web services appeared to move away from WS-* protocols and standards. Looking back now I was partly right. It is certainly so that, especially with the emergence of Ajax and Web 2.0 in the second half of 2005, other non WS-* protocols have gained attention and are used more widely. In fact, both Ajax and Web 2.0 rely more on POX (Plain Old XML) and REST, than on WS-Security, WS-Transaction or WS-I and the like. What will further happen with web service protocols and standards in 2006?
WS-* and more lightweight standards like POX, REST and Ajax will
peacefully co-exist. As being part of an SOA and featuring heavily in
the attempts by major vendors to improve their SOBA's and make them
future-proof, we will need a robust framework for web services. The
further elaboration of the WS-* stack can provide this, so for
inter-application, inter-organization and any other service-oriented
application, the WS-* will still be the best pick.
services that are primarily user-centric, the best pick will be
REST/POX/Ajax. Use these technologies for presenting the information
that is being processed using protocols and standards from the WS-*
My prediction is that both the WS-* stack and its
lightweight counterpart will continue to evolve and mature, and that we
will learn that these are not rival standards, but rather complementary
standards that will feature heavily in organizations pursuing SOA / Web
2.0 success. Whether we like it or not, Ajax and Web 2.0 concepts are
here to stay, and they provide an attractive alternative for
presentation functions for which WS-* is over-bloated.
prediction is that the WS-* stack will be start to be consolidated in
2006, and the numbers of standards for web services will rather
decrease, than increase. New joint efforts from vendors and standard
bodies will be started to unify competing standards. Also, standards
that overlap heavily, will be slammed together to increase the
simplicity of the WS-* protocols.
Still the golden rule for WS-*
standards applies: use SDKs and generators as much as possible, and do
not go about adopting and implementing all WS-* standards out there. Do
not even attempt to grasp all of them.