Saturday, May 31, 2008


ESWSA: Workshop on empirical studies of Web service architectures
(the RESTñSOAP debate in numbers)
in conjunction with OOPSLA 2008

The recent rapid growth in size and capability of distributed computing
systems has heralded new types of software architectures, among them the
messaging paradigm championed by Web Services and the distributed hypermedia
model upheld by the Web. Currently these two competing styles ñ known as
SOAP and RESTful ñ are used, but little is known about the real-world
engineering characteristics of each style, though each has an active camp of
campaigners. The known comparisons focus on sometimes abstract architectural
principles, and there is little empirical information in the public domain
from specific system implementation experience.

Only one piece of empirical data regarding this debate is available to date.
It comes from Amazon. Jeff Barr, quoted by Tim O'Reilly, noted that 85% of
Web services requests at Amazon are HTTP-based, or RESTful. That was in April

The ongoing conflict between the two groups is often called the ìREST-SOAP
debate.î Yet actual debates, organized for example during conferences, have
not been conclusive, because they typically fail to convince the proponents of
the competing style. Rather than arguing over abstract concepts, this workshop
will address the merits of each style based on empirical experience how
systems work in practice.

The workshop will present empirical work on RESTful and SOAP-based Web
Services. We are seeking papers that present empirical engineering evidence
regarding specific aspects of both kinds of services. This evidence will be
the starting point of the discussion during the workshop that aims to:
* Identify what is known empirically about building RESTful and SOAP services;
* Discuss the empirical results to see how widely they apply;
* Confirm or rebuke abstract claims with empirical evidence; and
* Identify questions for further study.

Workshop submissions should focus on one of the following types of empirical

Firstly, we are soliciting empirical studies or comparisons of SOAP and RESTful
Web services in the context of:
* Publicly accessible services
* Cross-Organization Integration (B2B), or inter-enterprise services
* Enterprise Application Integration (EAI), or intra-enterprise services
* Non-functional requirements of services (e.g. security, reliability, crash

Second, studies of the REST architectural style, e.g.
* How closely does the Web follow the principles of REST?
* How many Web services claiming to be RESTful follow the principles of REST?

Good sources of arguments regarding the REST-SOAP debate are
* RESTwiki,
* Paul Prescod's paper, ìRoots of the REST-SOAP debate,î XML 2002.
* "RESTful Web services" book by Leonard Richardson and Sam Ruby
* Web services-related tracks at qCon conferences


We are seeking short papers (up to 6 pages, 9pt font, in ACM format). A
submission must pose an empirical question related to Web services, present
some data that addresses the question and interpret the results. Submissions
will be judged based on soundness of methods, quality of analysis, as well as
relevance of the empirical results to the REST-SOAP debate. They will be
reviewed by Program Committee members, who are industry and academic experts
in the area of Web services.

Submissions will be accepted through the EasyChair submission system available

Authors of accepted papers will be notified by September 2nd (in time to take
advantage of OOPSLA's early registration discount). Authors will have an
opportunity to update their submissions with the reviewers' feedback until
September 20th, 2008. The reviewed submissions will be featured in OOPSLA
Companion 2008 and in the ACM's Digital Library. Note that at least one author
of the submitted paper must be present at the workshop to present it.


* ESWSA paper submission deadline: August 3, 2008
* Notification of acceptance/rejection: September 2, 2008
* OOPSLA's early registration deadline: September 11, 2008
* ESWSA Workshop: Oct 19th or 20th, 2008


The workshop will run over an entire dayís session at OOPSLA 2008.
Morning session: paper presentations (20 mins per paper + 10 mins for questions)
Afternoon session: more presentations plus a panel discussion of invited experts


Munawar Hafiz, University of Illinois
Paul Adamczyk, University of Illinois
Jim Webber, ThoughtWorks


Mark Baker, Coactus Consulting
Raj Balasubramanian, IBM
Chris Ferris, IBM
Ralph E Johnson, University of Illinois
Mark Little, Redhat
Steve Loughran, HP
Mark Nottingham, Yahoo
Savas Parastatidis, Microsoft
Ian Robinson, ThoughtWorks
Halvard Skogsrud, ThoughtWorks
Stefan Tilkov, innoQ
Paul Watson, Newcastle University
Sanjiva Weerawarana, WSO2


Jim Webber, ThoughtWorks
Sanjiva Weerawarana, WSO2
Kyle Brown, IBM
Brian Foote, Industrial Logic
Paul Adamczyk, University of Illinois

For more information about the workshop please visit
or contact the organizers.

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