Friday, March 31, 2006

The Spectrum of "Web Services"

In response to a recent question about a company wanting to jump into the web services pool, I wanted to give some publicity to John Udell's musings on the nature of web services, particularly his notion of WS-Heavy and WS-Lite.

Victor Grazi wrote:
"Our company is interested in exposing some of our server java api as web services. 2 years ago that would have probably meant introducing an ejb framework and wrapping those as web services. I would be interested in hearing other approaches. Any ideas?"
The first question to ask is whether you're interested in going down the WS-* path or the "Web 2.0" path. In other words, are you interested in being WS-Heavy or WS-Lite? (see and the links from that page).
Mica's architecture sounds like it lives towards the WS-Lite/Web 2.0 end of that spectrum, while SOAP, UDDI, WS-I, etc. would put you more towards the WS-Heavy end.

Once you understand that distinction and determine which end you need/want to live near, then you can decide on the technologies to implement those choices.