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Microsoft bets on Atom Publishing Protocol as the future direction for Web APIs

by Hartmut Wilms on Mar 04, 2008 |

Microsoft switches from the Web Structured, Schema’d & Searchable (Web3S) protocol to Atom Publishing Protocol (AtomPub) for services offered by Microsoft's Live Platform on the Web.

David Treadwell, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Live Platform Services, announces some news and updates on the Windows Live Platform Services. Under the topic "Standardization of frameworks and protocols" he states that

Microsoft is making a large investment in unifying our developer platform protocols for services on the open, standards-based Atom format (RFC 4287) and the Atom Publishing Protocol (RFC 5023)". At MIX we are enabling several new Live services with AtomPub endpoints which enable any HTTP-aware application to easily consume Atom feeds of photos and for unstructured application storage (see below for more details). Or you can use any Atom-aware public tools or libraries, such as .NET WCF Syndication to read or write these cloud service-based feeds.

AtomPub will also be used as the standard protocol for ADO.NET Data Services (codename "Project Astoria").  Pablo Castro writes about APP support in Astoria on the Project Astoria Team Blog.

Dare Obasanjo explains why Microsoft has changed its mind on APP and has obviously abandoned Web3S:

The fact is when we listened to the community of Web developers the feedback was overwhelmingly clear that people would prefer if we worked together with the community to make AtomPub work for the scenarios we felt it wasn’t suited for than Microsoft creating a competing proprietary protocol.

Microsoft's decision is welcomed by Mark Baker in his blog post on Web3s and Atom/APP:

I’m confident this is for the best. In addition to Atom/APP being existing standards (with an accompanying abundance of existing tooling), Microsoft will also gain the evolutionary advantages of the hypermedia as the engine of application state constraint, which Web3S opted to replace with a schema-driven application model.

Adapting the standardized Atom Publishing Protocol is in line with Microsoft's  new interoperability principles, support for REST and Syndication in WCF, and the high extensibility and pluggability of the ASP.NET MVC Framework.

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