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Interview: Dan Diephouse on Atom, AtomPub, REST and Web Services

by Stefan Tilkov on Apr 08, 2008 |
In a new interview, recorded at QCon San Francisco, noted Web services expert and open source developer Dan Diephouse talks about the benefits of using the Atom Pub and Atom standards for business applications, pros and cons of using REST, and upcoming features of the Apache CXF web services stack.

According to Dan, Atom and the Atom Publication Protocol, while originally created to support the syndication and publication of weblogs, have a wide area of application in business domains. He points to several possible use cases, such as getting notified when a new employee is added through a news feed, or being able to interact with an application-specific set of resources through a standard AtomPub client.

In Dan's view, one of the benefits of Atom is that it creates a RESTful protocol that can be easily re-used (instead of having to re-invent everything from scratch), but notes that it's not applicable in every case. He also notes some of Atom's problems, such as issues modeling hierarchies and batching requests.

Dan also talks about his views about REST. Although he likes it very much, and considers it suitable for many cases, he explains that there are some unsolved problems left with "plain HTTP", such as transactions and security.

Dan Diephouse is an enterprise architect and open source developer, well-known as the founder of the XFire open source project (which has now become Apache CXF). He is a committer on several other open source projects, including Apache Abdera, XmlSchema, and Jettison. He currently works at MuleSource where he is focused on building and helping others build open source web services/SOA solutions.

Watch the interview (20 minutes).

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