Hugh Winkler holding forth on computing and the Web

Monday, June 27, 2005

Service specific operations and machines

Service independent operations are valuable when the agent invoking them is the kind of agent that talks to lots of different services: a web browser + a human to make sense of what he browses and make choices accordingly.

If the agent is service specific, then heck, just design in all the specific operations you want.

Machine to machine conversations are almost always service specific. You have to program the client to understand how to proceed through the legal application states. The guy programming the client needs to know... First you do this to get this result, then you use that result to make a second query, and so on. It's no help to have a service independent operation set if you're using it that way.

Service independent operations would be valuable in the machine to machine case if you could invent a surrogate for the human: an intelligent machine agent able to make choices, given some output from the last operation. I've said that before, I know. Just thought it would be useful to state it a little differently.

(Caveat: written after a 16 hour day constructing SOAP services for machine to machine cases).

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