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Creating accounts and interacting with Web services

I am wondering why the WSDL standard did not formalize an Interoperable Service Reference data type, much like an Interoperable Object Reference for an Object Request Broker. Without this, how can the Factory pattern be applied to a Web service in a portable and interoperable way? For instance, what would the output message be of the service's AccountFactory.openAccount("Joe") operation?
The first thing to understand about the Web services framework (WSF) is that it isn't a distributed object system. It's a message passing system. Web services do not support remote references. You just don't use the Factory pattern this way with a Web service. Typically, interactions with a Web service are stateless. You can invoke a Web service and ask it to create an account for you called "Joe" and it will most likely return some account information that you can then use to reference the account at a later time (such as an account ID). But you will continue to interact with the generic account service - not with the "Joe" account instance.
This was last published in June 2005

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