06 August 2010

Mr. Fielding (not of Tom Jones)

Our friends at simple-talk have their weekly (?, thereabouts) interview, with Roy Fielding. He "invented" REST, and has some things to say about it, but this quote made me chuckle, because I've been there, and felt the pain:

You must remember REST is a style and SOAP is a protocol, so they are different. One can compare RESTful use of HTTP to SOAP's use of HTTP. In contrast, I don't know of a single successful large architecture that has been developed and deployed using SOAP. IBM, Microsoft, and a dozen other companies spent billions marketing Web Services (SOAP) as an interoperability platform and yet never managed to obtain any interoperability between major vendors. That is because SOAP is only a protocol - it lacks the design constraints of a coherent architectural style that are needed to create interoperable systems.

SOAP certainly had a lot of developer mindshare, though that was primarily due to the massive marketing effort and money to be found in buzzword-based consulting.

One of the hallmarks, at least to me, about REST is that its verbs (from HTTP) match, to a tee, those of the relational database. Yet, may be for that reason, the procedural goop of SOAP (lots 'o rinsing needed) enveloped the Fortune X00. Oh well, someone will pay the price.

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