Thursday, November 16, 2006

What is a RESTful Web Service ?

I have to admit that I am very confused about the term "RESTful Web Services". REST is one of the most highly missunderstood concepts out there and certainly one the most highly abused terms. For most REST means POX/HTTP GET or POST, simillar to some folks, who think they are doing "Web Services" simply bcos they are using SOAP, WSDL etc while there is utter disregard to loose coupling, service orientation ..etc.

I also see the endless debates on SOAP vs REST. I guess this stems from the fact that most think, REST is POX/HTTP GET or POST. While SOAP is a message format, REST is an architectural style. So there is absolutely no point in comparing apples to oranges.

So what is a RESTful Web Service ?

I have been talking to Roy Fielding on email trying to understand REST and have also been bugging Sanjiva on IM trying to clarify the facts. REST takes a "resource oriented approach" while Web Services (SOA) takes a "service oriented approach". One can argue that a service is a resource (from a REST POV) and a resource can be exposed as a service (from a WS POV). But there are some fundamental differences in these approaches. IMHO a service should be a more coarse grained concept than a resource. A service may encompass one or more resources. I assume what RESTful services means, is that the respective Web Service obeys the REST principles. How possible is that ? To me this is still a grey area and I will continue to ask this question until I understand this properly.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Web Services is NOT a Distributed Object access Architecture

It is surprising that many people still think of Web Services as a Distributed Object access architecture like CORBA or COM.

This is quoted from the post by Leonard Richardson

“The answer is that "Web Services” aren’t the web. They’re a heavyweight architecture for distributed object access, like COM and CORBA"

This is very misleading. Web Services is *NOT* a distributed object architecture.
WS is not object centric and has no notion of an object reference or distributed garbage collection.

So it is wrong to say *LIKE* CORBA or COM

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Case Study for Synapse

I wrote a Case Study for Synapse and it's available here

ApacheCon US 06

Finnaly I settled down to write something about Apache Con US 06, eventhough it's been about 2 weeks since I've been there. It was held in Austin, TX and I have to say it was very good. I went out for dinner a couple of times, and enjoyed all the live music that was going on, on 6th Street. Well they say Austin is the live music capital of the world....not sure I agree there.

Anyways I had a good time and met a lot of friends that I have only communicated through email/IM. I also presented on Axis2. The focus was on the usage of Axis2 with spring, pojo support, embedding being the main topics I coverd during the presentation.

I loved the keynote by Dr. Cliff Stoll and I also managed to get Howard Taylor a cartoonist to draw a small caricature of me with a cricket bat.

I met Roy Fielding the guy who invented HTTP and REST. But what really spoiled the whole thing was when I realized that somebody has taken my digital camera. I am pretty sure it was the hotel staff.

Friday, September 29, 2006

My First Podcast

I finnaly started to blog again. The last time I bloged was in January and then I slacked off.
So this time hopefully I will keep up to it. Lots of things happend between January and now and I feel bad that I didn't blog about it.

Anyways I was fortunate enough to do a podcast about Apache Axis2 with Rich Bowen for feather cast. This was done at the Apache Con Asia 06 where I was a speaker for the first time at a conference of this magnitutde. Here is the link to my podcast