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Atom protocol as the substrate for reliable messaging

I've heard the argument before that the REST approach to web services doesn't give you reliable messaging and that's the reason you need to stick with WS-*. Today Bill de hÓra disputes that notion with an interesting and somewhat provocative post that mentions a couple of specs for messaging via HTTP (HTTPLR and BTF) and argues that Atom protocol can serve as the basis for web-scale reliable messaging.

Bill de hÓra: There are a number of reasons to choose Atom Protocol as the substrate for web-scale reliable messaging. First, a ton of software will be written to target APP in the next few years, and there is plenty of scope for extending the protocol; this suggests openly available and flexible software stacks. Second, since all document collections in Atom Protocol are served as Atom Feeds, it has inherent support for systems management and end to end reconciliation. Third, Atom entries have identity and are natural envelopes, unlike SOAP, where identity and true enveloping requires further specification (essentially raw Atom presents a better basis for interoperation than raw SOAP). Fourth, Atom Protocol can support binary content transmission not just XML, and thus can transmit arbitrary payloads. Finally, because Atom Protocol respects media types and deployed HTTP infrastructure, independent proxy inspection and security check-pointing can be installed cleanly, also eliminating the need to rewrite 2 stack layers and buy XML appliances to support and secure SOAP backed web services. It seems to be a question of when, rather than if, this will get built out.

I would have blogged about this earlier today, but Bill's blog looked foobar and I didn't realize that today is CSS Naked Day. My blog doesn't look half bad naked.


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