Friday, October 10, 2003

Web Services: Better than CORBA or DCOM?

Web Services Computing: Advancing Software Interoperability
Jen-Yao Chung, Kwei-Jay Lin, and Richard G. Mathieu
IEEE Computer 35:10:35-37, Oct 2003

Communications of the ACM and IEEE Computer both have Web services as the theme of the latest edition. Chung et al note "web services computing poses significant challenges as developers determine how to leverage emerging technologies to automate individual applications based on croo-organizational heterogeneous software components...

"Over the years, the goal of achieving software interoperability across computer networks has remained elusive. Standards such as the common object request broker architecture (CORBA) distributed component object model (DCOM) have met with marginal success. Skeptics are rightfully asking whether Web services will ultimately be viewed as a revolutionary jump or merely an evolutionary step toward software interoperability.

"With the strong support that most major mmarket players are providing, Web services may achieve what CORBA and DCOM could not. The XML/SOAP approach to Web services offers some significant advantages over CORBA and DCOM. While they are both reasonable protocols for server-to-server communications, CORBA and DCOM have significant weaknesses for client-server communications on the internet. Web services use document-style messages that offer the flexibility and pervasiveness that CORBA and DCOM cannot provide."

The papers in Computer and CACM show the current state of development on the concepts I mentioned on this site in December 1997. Check out Frank Manola's paper, Towards a Web Object Model, Object Services and Consulting, Inc. It is an excellent 1997 analysis of what it will take to turn the Web into a distributed object platform by the editor of the X3H7 Object Features Matrix, the most comprehensive comparative analysis of object models ever published.


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