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Ensuring multi-vendor interoperability

We may be limiting our Web services to HTTP only. What can I say to convince others this is not a good idea? It seems that SOAP 1.2 allows more transports and is protocol independent.

You're correct that SOAP is protocol independent (even SOAP 1.1 allows multiple transports), but the only formally defined SOAP binding is for HTTP. Also note that the WS-I Basic Profile requires use of HTTP. My advice is to follow the WS-I Basic Profile unless you have very strong justification to make an exception for a specific application. The bottom line is that if you want to ensure multi-vendor interoperability, you should use HTTP.

There are issues associated with using HTTP, though. They are:

  • HTTP is not a reliable protocol
  • HTTP is a request/response protocol and not especially conducive to one-way messaging
  • Quite a few companies address these issues by using a MOM protocol, such as WebSphere MQ. The issues associated with using a MOM protocol, though, are:

  • There's no standard WSDL binding for MOM, and that causes severe interoperability issues
  • You must deploy the same MOM on both sender and receiver nodes, which may cause challenges in some situations.
  • This was last published in February 2005

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