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Web Services & SLEE -- Whats the best fit?

Posted by boneill42 on April 1, 2004 at 6:10 AM PST

Web services...

I do not think it means what you think it means. =)

The word "web" in "web services" is misleading. Web services do not in any way shape or form depend on the "web". They are not tied to any specific protocol or means of invocation. Very generally, a web service is simply a service made available to other loosely coupled systems via an interface that is usually described using the web services description language (WSDL).

In WSDL, the actual means of invocation (binding and port) are implementation details. Their could be multiple bindings because the service supports multiple means of invocation, RMI, EJB and SOAP for example. One can envision a day when HTTP is not the primary protocol via which a service receives and responds to invocations. This lead me to thinking about SLEE.

SLEE is the perfect platform on which to build generic event-driven applicaitons that provide services to external entities. Via the resource adapters, the application achieves the necessary abstraction layer away from the underlying protocols. In a SLEE container, I can develop my service without tying it to any particular protocol or invocation method.

Beautiful, but how does one do this? The question that is open for debate (and to which I don't have an aswer) is how does one develop a traditional web service in a SLEE container? Is it possible? Is it suggested? Do I have to first develop it in J2EE then tack on a SLEE mechanism to expose it via other means? That seems like the wrong solution.

So, I would like to propose an HTTP adaptor for the SLEE container. For some reason, I've "heard" this is frowned upon. In my opinion, this is the cleanest way of building services in the future.

Call me silly but I want to develop my service in a Service Logic Execution Environment (without thinking about J2EE), and whether or not it gets invoked via HTTP requests or someone tapping out morse code, is only an implementation detail.

How does one make this happen?

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