Thursday, November 18, 2004

Web Services context, coordination and transactions

Well Doug Bunting and I gave our presentation on the state of the Web Services architecture and how OASIS WS-CAF could be used to fill in some of the gaps. I thought it went OK and we had a few good questions from the audience and more offline. Unfortunately the proceedings from the conference aren't publicly available, so I'll have to wait until I get back to the office before I put a copy on our Web site.

It's amazing how these things pan out, but WS-Context was always the specification I assumed would interest people the least. However, and with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight, because it probably has the most relevance, it is the one that everyone latches onto most often. It's always nice to have people come up and give you new use cases for how context (and the notion of activity) fit nicely into their architecture. It kind of reinforces that the work we're doing isn't just useful in a narrow field.

Fairly obviously though, I think that the 3 specifications that form WS-CAF (WS-Coordination Framework and WS-Transaction Management being the other two) create a "pyramid of interest", tapering to transactions at the top. Put another way, the further up the stack we go, the less likely people are to find them generally useful. Don't get me wrong though, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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