Forum OpenACS Development: Response to Clean solutions using SOAP

Posted by Dan Wickstrom on
This thread doesn't seem too contentious - quite calm in comparison to
other threads that we've had lately.

There's always plenty of other things that can be done, but I wonder
if your clients are asking for you to those things instead?

The linux-journal article on OpenACS seemed to be right on the mark
when it stated that openacs is unfinished in many respects.  Thinking
about it though, alot of potential clients probably don't care about
the things in openacs that are unfinished.

Probably, people don't yet see the value in web-services, but if it
were available and you offered it as a superior method to solve some
of your customer's problems, then demand for it would probably grow.
If your decision is purely a business decision predicated on
short-term benefit to you and your company, then implementing
web-services now is probably not a good bet, especially in light of the
fact that none of your customers are asking for it.  I think it's
useful, and I think it could be applied to solving alot of problems
that folks in this community are trying to address, but I'm not a
customer, so my opinion probably doesn't matter in your decision

In spite of that, I have to admit that I was quite impressed with google's
implementation of web-services.  This type of service really shines
when it comes to integrating services from source outside of your own
web-server.  For instance, in the google case, the web-service
interface gives you complete control over how the data is received,
and it let's you present the received data in whatever format you
choose. It seems to be a really good fit for dotLRN, since there will
be a demand for tying dotLRN in with legacy systems, and web-services
are good for that type of problem.

The thing is, once your customers start realizing they need something
like SOAP, there probably won't be enough time to quickly throw
something together.  Wouldn't it be better to already have it
available?  There's always the chance that your customers will never
ask for it, so it is a gamble to undertake the work, if you're expecting
a future payoff.

Spending your spare time at the pub, is probably a better bet :).