A detailed investigation of interoperability for web services
Abstract (Summary)The thesis presents a qualitative survey of web services' interoperability, offering a snapshot of development and trends at the end of 2005. It starts by examining the beginnings of web services in earlier distributed computing and middleware technologies, determining the distance from these approaches evident in current web-services architectures. It establishes a working definition of web services, examining the protocols that now seek to define it and the extent to which they contribute to its most crucial feature, interoperability. The thesis then considers the REST approach to web services as being in a class of its own, concluding that this approach to interoperable distributed computing is not only the simplest but also the most interoperable. It looks briefly at interoperability issues raised by technologies in the wider arena of Service Oriented Architecture. The chapter on protocols is complemented by a chapter that validates the qualitative findings by examining web services in practice. These have been implemented by a variety of toolkits and on different platforms. Included in the study is a preliminary examination of JAX-WS, the replacement for JAX-RPC, which is still under development. Although the main language of implementation is Java, the study includes services in C# and PHP and one implementation of a client using a Firefox extension. The study concludes that different forms of web service may co-exist with earlier middleware technologies. While remaining aware that there are still pitfalls that might yet derail the movement towards greater interoperability, the conclusion sounds an optimistic note that recent cooperation between different vendors may yet result in a solution that achieves interoperability through core web-service standards.
School Location:South Africa
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:01/01/2006