Friday, July 25, 2008

Give it a REST...

Sanjiva lets fly with a rebuttal to Tim Bray's comments on REST and its relationship to SOAP, Java, and the multi-language divide.

Although I'm getting a little tired of saying it these days, I think it's clear that both SOAP and REST are here to stay.  There are some situations where you could use either (or both), but there are also a bunch where there is a clear winner - just like there are some cases where TCP is the right protocol, and others where UDP is better.  Use the right technology for the right situation.  Don't break the web.  And you'll be fine.

SOAP isn't "an embarrassing failure".  REST isn't "insufficient for the enterprise". Can we get on with the good stuff now? :)

1 comment:

Ron Ten-Hove said...

Glen,

I think Tim was voicing the frustration we all feel when dealing with the complexities of SOAP -- especially the interoperability problems that still exist. I just got burned by an Axis 2 / WCF WS-Security interop problem today. Such frustrations are a real barrier to the dispassionate weighing of pros and cons you advocate.

I agree that SOAP is here to stay. It is analogous to the situation with XML Schema: it is ugly, and in many ways off target, but it is well established, and will be with us until the end of time (;-), despite far better alternatives (eg, RELAX-NG). WSDL 1.1 vs 2.0 is another example.

It seems our tendency to treat each new technology front as a new "gold rush" causes widespread deployment of half-baked ideas, often leaving better ideas out in the cold. Imagine if the fundamental protocols of the Internet were created and deployed in such a rush -- there would be no Internet! Just a thought...