It’s just data

In defense of WSDL

Clemens Vasters: Why I want WSDL to die. I agree in principle with the sentiments expressed in this excellent rant. It is the execution and details that things become problematic. What actually concerns me more that the (valid, IMHO) irritations that Clemens so eloquently describes is the process of getting consensus and widespread adoption of any new format.

There also is one important aspect that Clemens seems to have overlooked, which I will generically refer to as bindings. When doing SOAP using XML over HTTP, a URI and a SOAPAction are required. Non HTTP and non pointy-bracket serializations of the XML Infoset should also be supportable. A concrete example: a binary message sent over MQSeries may be a vital part of a flow of business process.


Sam defends WSDL (but doesn't try too hard :)

Sam defends WSDL (but doesn't try too hard :) In defense of WSDL. Clemens Vasters: Why I want WSDL to die. I agree in principle with the sentiments expressed in this excellent rant. It is the execution and details that things become problematic....

Excerpt from Clemens Vasters: Enterprise Development & Alien Abductions at

Clemens: cool.

From a technical side, I certainly value and enjoy the process of radical refactoring and simplification. From this perspective, WSDL is overdue.

From a web service advocacy point of view, I remain concerned about the social impact of such radical changes, particularly on adoption.

From a practical point of view, the probability of WSDL changes making it into products such as Everett or WAS 5.0.x is vanishingly small. So we are talking next year at the earliest, which nicely addresses the social concerns above.

Net: I am comfortable with all of this as long as we recognize these issues as requirements that urgently (relative to the geological pace of the W3C) need to be addressed by the WSDL WG, and couple this with usage recommendations on how to apply the existing specifications (i.e., via WS-I).

Posted by Sam Ruby at

Oh What A Muddled Mess

Conversations such as this one between Clemens and Sam highlight a very important fact about the state of Web services today. There are many different types of applications. Unfortunately, everyone... [more]

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This comment isn't relevant to the topic at hand, but I must say your Gentle Introduction series is superb. I've made them required reading for the junior developers where I work who are just getting their feet wet with XML and SOAP. If I may be so bold, I'd like to suggest that you consider posting a Gentle Introduction to WS-Security or WSE in general in the future. In any case, your blog is chock full of excellent information and is a real asset. Thanks!

Posted by Christian Romney at

Christian: Thanks!

When the wave catches, I certainly will document WS-Security. At the moment, adoption is still a bit low. Microsoft can document WSE for themselves. ;-)

The short version is that WS-Security is just a bunch of SOAP headers. Instead of coming up with a new set of security algorithms, all that WS-Security represents is an agreement on what the names of the elements will be. It isn't "password" or "passwd", but "Password" with a capital P. A Kerbereos v5 Ticket Granting Ticket is "Kerberosv5TGT".

Posted by Sam Ruby at

In brief: 7th March 2003

Web Services: there is an ongoing discussion between Clemens Vasters and Sam Ruby about the flaws of WSDL. Sam also points to this article praising the qualities of REST Web Services. The problem for me is I think I can clearly see the benefits of a...

Excerpt from Through the Blogging-glass at

WSDL and Deem's Dime Dogfood :)

I'm presenting on WSE (Web Services Enhancements) at the Visual Studio/Windows Server 2003 launch in Seattle on Thursday, and while going through an internal Rough Draft my CTO Chris Brooks, brought up the question, but where does WSDL define ...

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WSDL and Deem's Dime Dogfood :)

I'm presenting on WSE (Web Services Enhancements) at the Visual Studio/Windows Server 2003 launch in Seattle on Thursday, and while going through an internal Rough Draft my CTO Chris Brooks , brought up the question, but where does WSDL define DIME .... [more]

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