Forum OpenACS Q&A: What's the current state of the art in web services for OpenACS?

I have a client who wants to use web services via https, to communicate between some code he's writing and an OpenACS site we're putting together for him. This is not my area of expertise, so I did a little forum searching. I found Jade's description of his project, which sounds useful, but it's not going to be ready for a few months yet.

I also read this page:

which documents a number of options but does not give any info on which ones are good and which are to be avoided.

So, I'm asking for any and all stories about using WSDL with OpenACS, both successes and horrors. Any insight on how much extra complication is added by the https requirement is welcome too.

Thanks in advance!

Hi Janine,

my experience with web services is two year old.

The main project I did was a portal allowing a citizen to view and manage his fiscal position, submit new records and pay on line via credit card. The front-end talks to the back-end dbms via a SOAP gateway.

In this project I had to create both sides (client and server) of the services. For the server side I used the soap-gateway package (the original version of William Byrne using internally ns_xml) and overall it just worked out of the box. I made only one change to the package, so as to be able to create automatically a WSDL also when dealing with complex xml structures.

The client side was more challenging and I had to create some procs to invoke the web services, but in your case this is not necesary. Furthermore now it should be possible to exploit the tclsoap package to build a more robust solution.

Based on my experience I think that soap-gateway was (is) a good choice for creating server side web services and the only other recommandation is to familiarize yourself using tdom.