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A couple of ways to skin an Internet-scale cat

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Summary

In this presentation, recorded at QCon San Francisco, ThoughtWorks director of professional services and all-around Web and Web services expert Jim Webber explains the core concepts of message-oriented web services, expresses his thorough dislike of WSDL, explains different approaches to Web architecture, and shows an example of a RESTful workflow.

Bio

Dr. Jim Webber is director of professional services for ThoughtWorks, where he works on distributed systems for clients worldwide. He has extensive Web Services architecture and development experience and was the lead developer with Hewlett-Packard on the industry's first Web Services Transaction solution and is co-author of the book "Developing Enterprise Web Services - An Architect's Guide".

About the conference

QCon is a conference that is organized by the community, for the community.The result is a high quality conference experience where a tremendous amount of attention and investment has gone into having the best content on the most important topics presented by the leaders in our community.QCon is designed with the technical depth and enterprise focus of interest to technical team leads, architects, and project managers.

Recorded at:

Oct 29, 2008

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Community comments

  • Good presentation but lacks the practical touch

    by Prashant Parab /

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    This is a good REST presentation to understand its potential. But when you imagine to implement it for any real world enterprise systems you need to take care of some of the important aspects like transaction, reliability, etc. This presentation fails to cover those topics.

  • Re: Good presentation but lacks the practical touch

    by Jim Webber /

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    Hi Prashant,

    You're right, these are important topics and they cannot be wedged into a single talk. On the upside, they are all in my forthcoming book on Web integration. In the meantime, here's a minimal set of answers to your points:

    1. Transactions - Don't use them, or at least not to cross service boundaries. Use other patterns to get consistent state updates (after all the whole REST thing is about state so it's a good tool for that job);

    2. Reliability - Safety and idempotence deal with this on the Web. Retries are valid, and the metadata you get from interacting with a service helps with recovery scenarios. Don't underestimate the utility of safe GETs.

    HTH.

    Jim

  • Great RESTful Talks

    by Iqbal Yusuf /

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    Wonderful presentation Jim. You make hard topic easy. I'm a civil engineer turned into a web application developer by choice. People like me (who do not have C.Sc. degree) will benifit from your easy presentation.

    Thanks.

    Iqbal

  • Micro Format

    by Iqbal Yusuf /

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    Hi Jim,

    You talked about micro format. Can you provide us with some links to this subject?

    Thanks.

    Iqbal

  • WebDAV

    by Pavel Veller /

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    Some time ago I built a small WebDAV Access Point. While building it I had a very clear feeling that HTTP with its verbs and statuses was all I needed to build a transactional app. As part of that endeavour I built what was natural for WebDAV - bridge to documents and folders. But then I clearly saw how I could extend the capabilities of that little proxy tool for documents to also support CRUD operations for defects, tasks, etc. (it was a project management type of system that I built a bridge for). I even gave it a shot to see if it was really that easy to build it working right on the HTTP abstraction level but quickly gave up. Not because HTTP failed me. Simply because my work targeted MS Explorer as the only client and WebDAV response had no way of extending Explorer behaviour, I just could not expose "new" features to the end user; mapping them to the HTTP semantics was not an issue.

    I don't see WebDAV talked about much but it is a nice resource-oriented HTTP-based XML-driven protocol that has been out there for quite a while. Definitely not ready to be an integration services protocol but a good proof that the concept presented by Jim is perfectly viable.

    Nice talk, thanks a lot

  • The slides?

    by JAVAID ASLAM /

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    Hi Jim,
    Excellent presentation-- very insightful.
    Can one get the slides somehow?

    Thank you,
    -Javaid

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