My biggest frustration with the current Web Services debate (triggered innocently in a posting by Don Box, with followups by nearly everyone) is the lack of verifiable information. We need a big, independent study to answer two important questions about each part of the WS-* stack:
- Does it actually work as specified in each individual implementation?
- Does it actually work as specified across many different implementations?
Any WS-* feature that receives a ‘no’ answer to either of these questions is excluded from the debate — WS advocates cannot credibly claim that WS-* is more appropriate for complex, enterprise interfaces unless the complex enterprise features actually work, portably.
On the other hand, any WS-* feature that receives a ‘yes’ answer to both of these questions needs to be taken seriously by the REST advocates. They’ve gotten used to throwing mud at WS-*, assuming that everything is broken; where the WS people have managed to get something working robustly and portably, let’s at least start by giving them the benefit of a doubt that they might have solved a real business problem.