Monthly Archives: October 2007

The simple story of why I like REST

So I’ve been dabbling with REST (Astoria among other things built on .NET 3.5).  I’ve been reading the stuff on Steve Vinoski’s blog, and actually have had some good conversations with Sam Gentile  (and one tonight with him and Gar) the last few days about the subject.

When I read Steve Vinoski’s blog post tonight – it hit it home for me again (this is the story I told Sam and Gar over drinks about why I like REST).  I feel like REST actually gives me way more architectural guidance about how my service should be built than SOAP.  With SOAP  I have Actions (which generally in WCF map to methods) and messages, but there isn’t any *Zen* or guiding principal for me for building a service.

With REST – the guiding principal is the URI.  Take BAM for example from BizTalk – I talked about building a RESTful API on top of BAM.  In BAM I’d have a URI – http://hostname/BAMAPI/

If I hit the http://hostname/BAMAPI/ with a GET – I’d get a list of all the registered BAM Activities.  If I hit the URI – http://hostname/BAMAPI/ActivityName – I’d get all the completed instances of that activity.  If I wanted to add a new activity instance I’d do a PUT to http://hostname/BAMAPI/ActivityName/{ActivityId} where the {ActivityId} would be the unique key for my activity.  If I wanted to update that activity instance I’d do a POST to http://hostname/BAMAPI/{ActivityId} and I’d put the new data in the body of the Http Request.  I could go on and on about how this would work – but the point is – REST actually gives me guidance on what this service should *be*.  SOAP give me a *how*.  REST gives me a much more rational model on what my service should do and *why*.  And since I understand the web, and I understand URIs – it all really just makes sense.

This is probably the closest I will ever get to an “architecture” type post (I am sure it is woefully inadequate next to a Steve Vinoski or a Tim Ewald) but nonetheless I felt I had to let it out.

 

Oslo is more than a city in Norway

MS is announcing Oslo today – http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/oct07/10-30OsloPR.mspx.

I’m here at the SOA/BPI conference listening to Don Ferguson and Robert Wahbe – and I think they are about to announce.

Oslo is going to bring a pretty interesting time in Services development over the next few years.  The thing I am most happy about is the continued investment in the technology I love – BizTalk.   I also think BizTalk Services is going to be really big – and not to leave out the modeling.  For those of you have seen me talk about BizTalk and WF – I always emphasize the power of having a model of your business process.  Now we are talking about having a model of the whole application as well, and a repository to hold them.  The future looks bright….

 

BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Capabilities Poster

I normally don’t just link to announcements from MS – but this poster http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=34F41573-C552-466F-B531-32CB09A57CDD&displaylang=en is very very cool.

Every person I’ve shown it to wanted a copy immediately.

I’m actually working on a whitepaper that goes along with it – with links to the pertinent documentation.  I’ll post that link when that piece is done.