Eweek is running an interesting article describing the architectural vision of Microsoft supporting the term Web2.0 in their future.

This is a good thing from the developers perspective because the acknowledgment by Microsoft gives us a rock-solid fundament for delivering ‘open’ solutions with a quicker time-to-market on their platform.

I was listening to a dotnetrocks show the other day in which Richard mentions a study confirming the power of Microsoft’s .NET platform in the middle-segment of the IT industry. This is exactly where the pain points lie in using the current web-service offerings.

The web-services paradigm that we have been given by vendors for enabling this ‘open-ness’ (I deliberatly avoid the term SOA) has its strong points but also its weak points. To name one of the biggest: the complexity XML and schema require in order to fully comprehend and use effectivly.

I do agree that the toolset helps by hiding these complexities… but think ‘open’ again. Try integrating a rails app with a dotnet webservice… it is very possible, but certainly not without weird hacks and quirks. The promisied holy grail of open web-services architecture (the technology formerly known Indigo) is getting there, but this is only Microsoft… a lot of other vendors have yet to catch up.

I was exploring the Yahoo Term Extraction API the other day and was able to integrate this in my application within minutes. No twiddling with wsdl-contracts or other funky stuff, just simple http GET requests and query parameters.

It is important, from the architects point of view, to understand when web-services are favored over the REST approach:

“The consumer edge is the peer-to-peer, Web 2.0 world and the enterprise edge is the SOA, ESB (enterprise service bus) model. In addition, the consumer edge is an asynchronous communications model based on the REST (Representational State Transfer) scheme, and the enterprise edge is based on the Simple Object Access Protocol scheme. REST is a dominant model on the consumer side, and SOAP is the model on the enterprise side.”

I do hope Microsoft adds more weight to these statements by actively supporting REST in their offerings in addittion to SOAP. But, until that is the case, for the time being you might want to have a look at this series of articles :-)