Presentation: Mark Little's "Diary of a Fence Sitting SOA Geek"
In a new presentation, recorded at QCon London 2008, Mark Little, Engineering Director and Technical Development Manager of the SOA Platform at Red Hat and InfoQ SOA Editor, explains the history of SOAP/WSDL/WS-*-based web services and RESTful HTTP and shows that both approaches have their roles to play in any good architect's toolkit. He elaborates on where possible convergence could, or should, occur within the industry.
Mark has been involved in leading roles in the distributed computing industry for a long time. He starts off by highlighting some of the major milestones of machine-to-machine communication history. He explains both Web services and REST, and shows both similarities and differences.
In his opinion, both REST and WS-* have benefits, and he shows what each could learn from the other. He recommends adopting WS-* within the firewall, and REST/HTTP between firewalls. This would require appropriate (and not yet available) bridging between the two.
He finally concludes that neither WS-* nor REST/HTTP are perfect, and a lot of the investment that has been made in large-scale distributed systems R&D can be re-used to improve them.
Watch Mark's presentation (60 minutes).