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Help with REST Advocacy

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  • Andrew Hallam
    Hi All, I m looking for information that I can use to help promote the use of REST principles for the development of simple web services within a client
    Message 1 of 11 , May 26, 2005
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      Hi All,

      I'm looking for information that I can use to help promote the use of
      REST principles for the development of simple web services within a
      client organisation.

      Without going into a lot of detail, two simple SOAP web services have
      been created using Visual Studio. The developer involved is a VB and
      .Net scripter who just wants to get things done. However, I'm not
      confident that they understand what the SOAP stack is doing or what the
      impact will be on the developers who will be using the services.

      I'd much prefer to use a HTTP GET and a simplified XML response message,
      and using that as a starting point to move to a REST approach, but
      simplicity seems to be taking second place to using the latest
      buzzwords. If anyone has any suggestions on how to contrast the two
      approaches I'd really appreciate the help. Thanks.

      --
      Regards
      Andrew Hallam

      Digital Earth Pty Ltd
      www.digitalearth.com.au
    • Walden Mathews
      Andrew, Build a prototype of your proposed implementation, show it to them, and let them choose. You will probably still lose the battle, but it beats arguing
      Message 2 of 11 , May 26, 2005
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        Andrew,

        Build a prototype of your proposed implementation, show
        it to them, and let them choose. You will probably still lose
        the battle, but it beats arguing religion hands down.

        Walden

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Andrew Hallam" <ahallam@...>
        To: <rest-discuss@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2005 9:21 PM
        Subject: [rest-discuss] Help with REST Advocacy


        : Hi All,
        :
        : I'm looking for information that I can use to help promote the use of
        : REST principles for the development of simple web services within a
        : client organisation.
        :
        : Without going into a lot of detail, two simple SOAP web services have
        : been created using Visual Studio. The developer involved is a VB and
        : .Net scripter who just wants to get things done. However, I'm not
        : confident that they understand what the SOAP stack is doing or what the
        : impact will be on the developers who will be using the services.
        :
        : I'd much prefer to use a HTTP GET and a simplified XML response message,
        : and using that as a starting point to move to a REST approach, but
        : simplicity seems to be taking second place to using the latest
        : buzzwords. If anyone has any suggestions on how to contrast the two
        : approaches I'd really appreciate the help. Thanks.
        :
        : --
        : Regards
        : Andrew Hallam
        :
        : Digital Earth Pty Ltd
        : www.digitalearth.com.au
        :
        :
        :
        :
        :
        : Yahoo! Groups Links
        :
        :
        :
        :
        :
        :
        :
        : __________ NOD32 1.1109 (20050526) Information __________
        :
        : This message was checked by NOD32 antivirus system.
        : http://www.nod32.com
        :
        :
      • Andrew Hallam
        Hi Walden, ... Thanks. That actually has a chance of working because the developers who have to use the web service are from an external company, have no SOAP
        Message 3 of 11 , May 28, 2005
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          Hi Walden,

          > Build a prototype of your proposed implementation, show
          > it to them, and let them choose.

          Thanks. That actually has a chance of working because the developers who
          have to use the web service are from an external company, have no SOAP
          experience, and have a bit of influence in how things get done.

          > You will probably still lose
          > the battle, but it beats arguing religion hands down.

          Thanks for the confidence boost! :-)

          Here's the chain of influence that I'm working against.

          1. My client has large investment in software from a major GIS[1] vendor.

          2. This vendor has released a new "enterprise platform" product which is
          "web service enabled". In reality, nothing in that product itself
          provides web services. You have to use Visual Studio, Apache Axis or
          equivalent to create the SOAP bindings.

          3. Sales and technical people from the vendor are talking up web
          services acronyms (SOAP, WSDL and UDDI) without actually knowing much
          about them except that they are "industry standards" for
          "interoperability" (the vendor is pushing the open and interop line
          lately). When challenged, especially on UDDI, all I got was blank looks
          and responses summarised by "it's the latest thing" and "everyone is
          doing it".

          4. The software developer likes to learn new things that are good for
          their resume and which the tools make easy to *deliver*. They understand
          how to call a procedure, so SOAP is the "natural" choice. I suggested
          HTTP GET early on and was ignored.

          To win this battle I have to break the dependency on Visual Studio and
          get them to think about good design. That's going to be difficult.

          Andrew

          [1] Geographic Information System
        • Walden Mathews
          Andrew, Your developers on the client side might like exploring your service with nothing more than a browser and some stylesheet transformations. Very best of
          Message 4 of 11 , May 28, 2005
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            Andrew,

            Your developers on the client side might like exploring
            your service with nothing more than a browser and some
            stylesheet transformations.

            Very best of luck.

            Walden

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Andrew Hallam" <ahallam@...>
            To: "Walden Mathews" <waldenm@...>
            Cc: <rest-discuss@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Saturday, May 28, 2005 5:36 PM
            Subject: Re: [rest-discuss] Help with REST Advocacy


            : Hi Walden,
            :
            : > Build a prototype of your proposed implementation, show
            : > it to them, and let them choose.
            :
            : Thanks. That actually has a chance of working because the developers who
            : have to use the web service are from an external company, have no SOAP
            : experience, and have a bit of influence in how things get done.
            :
            : > You will probably still lose
            : > the battle, but it beats arguing religion hands down.
            :
            : Thanks for the confidence boost! :-)
            :
            : Here's the chain of influence that I'm working against.
            :
            : 1. My client has large investment in software from a major GIS[1] vendor.
            :
            : 2. This vendor has released a new "enterprise platform" product which is
            : "web service enabled". In reality, nothing in that product itself
            : provides web services. You have to use Visual Studio, Apache Axis or
            : equivalent to create the SOAP bindings.
            :
            : 3. Sales and technical people from the vendor are talking up web
            : services acronyms (SOAP, WSDL and UDDI) without actually knowing much
            : about them except that they are "industry standards" for
            : "interoperability" (the vendor is pushing the open and interop line
            : lately). When challenged, especially on UDDI, all I got was blank looks
            : and responses summarised by "it's the latest thing" and "everyone is
            : doing it".
            :
            : 4. The software developer likes to learn new things that are good for
            : their resume and which the tools make easy to *deliver*. They understand
            : how to call a procedure, so SOAP is the "natural" choice. I suggested
            : HTTP GET early on and was ignored.
            :
            : To win this battle I have to break the dependency on Visual Studio and
            : get them to think about good design. That's going to be difficult.
            :
            : Andrew
            :
            : [1] Geographic Information System
            :
            :
            :
            :
            : Yahoo! Groups Links
            :
            :
            :
            :
            :
            :
            :
            : __________ NOD32 1.1112 (20050527) Information __________
            :
            : This message was checked by NOD32 antivirus system.
            : http://www.nod32.com
            :
            :
          • Andrew Hallam
            Hi Walden, ... You were right. I m covered in bubbles, and it ain t pretty. So what did I learn? (This is probably not news to anyone on rest-discuss, and I m
            Message 5 of 11 , Jun 1, 2005
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              Hi Walden,

              > Build a prototype of your proposed implementation, show
              > it to them, and let them choose. You will probably still
              > lose the battle, but it beats arguing religion hands down.

              You were right. I'm covered in bubbles, and it ain't pretty.

              So what did I learn? (This is probably not news to anyone on
              rest-discuss, and I'm feeling slightly cynical at this point in time.)

              1. Some developers do not understand HTTP, URIs or the concept of
              resources, but they understand function calls.

              2. Some developers do not understand XML, and do not want to learn it.
              Therefore expecting them to use a REST style and XML resources for
              services is futile.

              3. When using SOAP some developers initially expect to not have to
              understand the details, and they will do their best to avoid
              understanding XML, SOAP, XSD, WSDL, etc. But, sooner or later they are
              going to have to understand the XML that is moving across the wire and
              understand how to get their SOAP toolkit to produce the required interface.

              4. Unless someone has the authority to impose a particular architectural
              style the developers will use the development tools that promise to make
              their life easier and which will look good on their resume.

              Ah well...

              Andrew
            • Jon Hanna
              ... That s the big one IMO. SOAP has been sold via selling certain development frameworks that make big promises in this regard. -- Regards, Jon Hanna …if
              Message 6 of 11 , Jun 2, 2005
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                Andrew Hallam wrote:
                > 3. When using SOAP some developers initially expect to not have to
                > understand the details, and they will do their best to avoid
                > understanding XML, SOAP, XSD, WSDL, etc. But, sooner or later they are
                > going to have to understand the XML that is moving across the wire and
                > understand how to get their SOAP toolkit to produce the required interface.

                That's the big one IMO. SOAP has been sold via selling certain
                development frameworks that make big promises in this regard.

                --
                Regards,
                Jon Hanna

                "…if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's probably not a
                ConceptualWork about a duck." - Mark Baker
              • Jan Algermissen
                ... Coming late to this thread and maybe OT, but reading this, I thought that a fundamental problem with REST is how to get the paradigm shift (and the
                Message 7 of 11 , Jun 2, 2005
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                  On Jun 2, 2005, at 1:54 AM, Andrew Hallam wrote:

                  > 4. Unless someone has the authority to impose a particular
                  > architectural
                  > style the developers will use the development tools that promise to
                  > make
                  > their life easier and which will look good on their resume.
                  >

                  Coming late to this thread and maybe OT, but reading this, I thought
                  that
                  a fundamental problem with REST is how to get the paradigm shift (and
                  the
                  required mental rewiring) into the developer mainstream?

                  I read a lot about domain driven development recently and
                  interestingly one
                  fundamental issue there explicitly is to 'find the nouns'. In fact,
                  pattterns
                  like 'Strategy' (to make business logic nouns instead of conditional
                  application
                  flow) suit 'RESTful development' very natuarally. So maybe that is a
                  way to get
                  the mainstream developers on the boat? Sort of bringing REST in
                  through the back
                  door (e.g. make the uniform API etc. just another OO pattern). Hmm...

                  Jan


                  ________________________________________________________________________
                  ____________________
                  Jan Algermissen, Consultant & Programmer
                  http://jalgermissen.com
                  Tugboat Consulting, 'Applying Web technology to enterprise IT'
                  http://www.tugboat.de
                • Jeoff Wilks
                  ... Just by renaming it from REST Architecture to The REST Pattern you could have an army of pattern-crazed J2EE developers clamoring to learn it.... :)
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jun 2, 2005
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                    > Sort of bringing REST in through the back door
                    > (e.g. make the uniform API etc. just another OO pattern). Hmm...

                    Just by renaming it from "REST Architecture" to "The REST Pattern" you could have an army of pattern-crazed J2EE developers clamoring to learn it....   :)


                    On 6/2/05, Jan Algermissen <jalgermissen@...> wrote:

                    On Jun 2, 2005, at 1:54 AM, Andrew Hallam wrote:

                    > 4. Unless someone has the authority to impose a particular
                    > architectural
                    > style the developers will use the development tools that promise to
                    > make
                    > their life easier and which will look good on their resume.
                    >

                    Coming late to this thread and maybe OT, but reading this, I thought
                    that
                    a fundamental problem with REST is how to get the paradigm shift (and
                    the
                    required mental rewiring) into the developer mainstream?

                    I read a lot about domain driven development recently and
                    interestingly one
                    fundamental issue there explicitly is to 'find the nouns'. In fact,
                    pattterns
                    like 'Strategy' (to make business logic nouns instead of conditional
                    application
                    flow) suit 'RESTful development' very natuarally. So maybe that is a
                    way to get
                    the mainstream developers on the boat? Sort of bringing REST in
                    through the back
                    door (e.g. make the uniform API etc. just another OO pattern). Hmm...

                    Jan


                    ________________________________________________________________________
                    ____________________
                    Jan Algermissen, Consultant & Programmer
                    http://jalgermissen.com
                    Tugboat Consulting, 'Applying Web technology to enterprise IT'
                    http://www.tugboat.de







                    Yahoo! Groups Links

                    <*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
                        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rest-discuss/

                    <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                        rest-discuss-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

                    <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
                        http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/





                  • S. Mike Dierken
                    Ahh, good idea. I think I ll try that at work. Architecture is such a cold word... pattern is much more cozy... ... From: Jeoff Wilks To:
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jun 2, 2005
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                      Ahh, good idea. I think I'll try that at work. Architecture is such a cold word... 'pattern' is much more cozy...
                       
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2005 6:42 AM
                      Subject: Re: [rest-discuss] Help with REST Advocacy

                      > Sort of bringing REST in through the back door
                      > (e.g. make the uniform API etc. just another OO pattern). Hmm...

                      Just by renaming it from "REST Architecture" to "The REST Pattern" you could have an army of pattern-crazed J2EE developers clamoring to learn it....   :)


                      On 6/2/05, Jan Algermissen <jalgermissen@...> wrote:

                      On Jun 2, 2005, at 1:54 AM, Andrew Hallam wrote:

                      > 4. Unless someone has the authority to impose a particular
                      > architectural
                      > style the developers will use the development tools that promise to
                      > make
                      > their life easier and which will look good on their resume.
                      >

                      Coming late to this thread and maybe OT, but reading this, I thought
                      that
                      a fundamental problem with REST is how to get the paradigm shift (and
                      the
                      required mental rewiring) into the developer mainstream?

                      I read a lot about domain driven development recently and
                      interestingly one
                      fundamental issue there explicitly is to 'find the nouns'. In fact,
                      pattterns
                      like 'Strategy' (to make business logic nouns instead of conditional
                      application
                      flow) suit 'RESTful development' very natuarally. So maybe that is a
                      way to get
                      the mainstream developers on the boat? Sort of bringing REST in
                      through the back
                      door (e.g. make the uniform API etc. just another OO pattern). Hmm...

                      Jan


                      ________________________________________________________________________
                      ____________________
                      Jan Algermissen, Consultant & Programmer
                      http://jalgermissen.com
                      Tugboat Consulting, 'Applying Web technology to enterprise IT'
                      http://www.tugboat.de







                      Yahoo! Groups Links

                      <*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
                          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rest-discuss/

                      <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                          rest-discuss-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

                      <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
                          http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/





                    • S. Mike Dierken
                      ... A uniform API actually is an OO pattern - it s called interface in Java. Examples are Collection, List, Map, Iterator, etc. REST is a set of design
                      Message 10 of 11 , Jun 2, 2005
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                        > So maybe that is a way to get
                        > the mainstream developers on the boat? Sort of bringing REST in
                        > through the back
                        > door (e.g. make the uniform API etc. just another OO pattern). Hmm...
                        A uniform API actually is an OO pattern - it's called 'interface' in Java.
                        Examples are Collection, List, Map, Iterator, etc.

                        REST is a set of design patterns for large scale networked applications.
                      • Jan Algermissen
                        ... Yes...since I think a design pattern can be seens as a constraint on design (reducing the number of possible design decisions). This is close enough to
                        Message 11 of 11 , Jun 3, 2005
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                          On Jun 3, 2005, at 7:24 AM, S. Mike Dierken wrote:
                          >
                          > REST is a set of design patterns for large scale networked
                          > applications.

                          Yes...since I think a design pattern can be seens as a constraint on
                          design (reducing the number of possible design decisions). This is
                          close enough to 'architectural constraint' to 'justify' the above
                          statement I think.

                          Jan


                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Yahoo! Groups Links
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >

                          ________________________________________________________________________
                          ____________________
                          Jan Algermissen, Consultant & Programmer
                          http://jalgermissen.com
                          Tugboat Consulting, 'Applying Web technology to enterprise IT'
                          http://www.tugboat.de
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