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Interview: Ian Robinson discusses REST, WS-* and Implementing an SOA

by Ryan Slobojan on Feb 18, 2009 | NOTICE: The next QCon is in New York Jun 9-13, Join us!

In this interview from QCon San Francisco 2008, Ian Robinson discusses REST vs. WS-*, REST contracts, WADL, how to approach company-wide SOA initiatives, how an SOA changes a company, SOA and Agile, tool support for REST, reuse and foreseeing client needs, versioning and the future of REST-based services in enterprise SOA development.

Watch Ian Robinson discusses REST, WS-* and Implementing an SOA (40 minutes).

From the interview:

I think we are learning today that a lot of the enterprise solutions that we have built in the past are very much confined to the enterprise, and we have often abused or completely disregarded some of the benefits that things such as HTTP and the larger web infrastructure have to offer us. We are also discovering today that a lot of the value that we want to generate within an organization is dependant upon its interactions and its collaborations with other organizations. So far more communication across organizational boundaries. Parts of the web services stack inhibit that kind of cross-organizational growth. We have a proliferation of specifications and often for a particular specification there are several different versions.

We are finding it increasingly difficult to get that kind of intrinsic interoperability across organizational boundaries using the web services stack. RESTful solutions can help us extend our reach in this regard. We are taking advantage of a constrained interface, but we are beginning to surface and describe a rich pool of resources and we are helping identify each of those resources and make them available to our clients and to other organizations. And we are helping guide those clients towards successful, the successful conclusion of their goals. So we talked about that earlier in terms of serving up representations that help a client achieve its goals and we are beginning to advertise what the next step in the process is.

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In full agreement by Jean-Jacques Dubray

As surprising as it may be, I agree with most if not all of Ian's statements. It's good to see some balance and realism coming to this debate.

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