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Anne Thomas Manes

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Top Stories by Anne Thomas Manes

There is an old saying among standards wonks: "The most wonderful thing about standards is that there are so many of them." And this truism is more applicable today than ever before. There are so many WS-* specifications, I've started referring to them as WS-Vertigo. But there is a reason that there are so many of them. The Web Services Framework (WSF) relies on a composable architecture. One of the primary tenets of the WSF is to keep things as simple as possible. Therefore, if an application doesn't require security, reliability, or transactions, you shouldn't clutter up the infrastructure with these capabilities. But at the same time, if the application does require security, reliability, and/or transactions, then you should be able to add support for the specific set of capabilities you need. Refactoring SpecificationsIn order to enable a pick-and-choose, plug-a... (more)

Identity CrisisPassport may not fill the need for a global identity service

Do you have a .NET Passport identity? You may not realize it, but chances are reasonably high that you do. If you have a HotMail or MSN account, Microsoft assigned a Passport identity to you automatically. Microsoft claims to have more than 160 million users registered in the Passport identity service. Pretty soon you'll need a Passport ID to have any interaction with Microsoft. In December 2001, quite a few gamesters were surprised to discover that their old accounts at the Microsoft Zone gaming site wouldn't work without a Passport ID. Microsoft also requires a Passport ID to jo... (more)

SOAP and Security

Based on the number of questions I get on the subject, quite a few people think that SOAP isn't secure. It's a bit hard to answer these questions because SOAP is neither secure nor insecure. It's not within the scope of SOAP to implement security. SOAP is simply a mechanism to package information to send between two applications. Even so, it's easy to secure SOAP messages, and SOAP provides an extensible mechanism that allows you to convey security information in your messages. Security is a complicated topic, so let me start by explaining the basic goals of security when dealin... (more)

Registering a Web Service in UDDI

UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration) is a registry for Web services. It provides a mechanism to advertise and discover Web services. Although you don't need to use UDDI to implement a Web services solution, you'll find that a UDDI registry greatly simplifies the management and administration of your services, particularly once they have reached a certain critical mass. Once you've developed more than a few services, and once you start giving access to those services to more than a few controlled individuals, management starts to get more challenging. Potential... (more)

Book Excerpt: When to Use Web Services

There are many compelling reasons to use Web services. It seems as if everyone is at least playing with Web services. Almost every software vendor is building support for Web services into its platforms, languages, and tools. Web services enable any-to-any integration, supporting any programming language, any runtime platform, and any network transport. Technologies such as SOAP and WSDL are simpler to use than traditional integration middleware technologies, and they offer much more flexibility. When combined with domain-specific industry standards, Web services enable unprecede... (more)