The recent smash hit, Web Services, has played from coast to coast on the business “Hypo-Tronic Gizmo” for several years now. One might even suggest that if DJ-Bob had a weekly Top 10 countdown featuring the most prolific debuts in business-hype history, Web Services would be at or near the top (clouds are also floating fairly high these days). This Hypo-Tronic Gizmo (or HG device) is extremely unique because it plays only what the listener wishes to hear. For top-level executives the device delivers a simple, “Cha-Ching”. For mid-level managers it renders a more subtle, “Here we go again”, reprise. But, for those in the trenches – the technical implementers and end users – it screams, “Fire in the hole!” Yet, surprisingly, to those who have lived through the budget-blowing and non-committing trends of the past, Web Services has actually delivered a Certified Platinum hit that many advocates had hoped it would achieve. Continue reading
There are a lot of useful SOAP Web Services. Whether it is a simple zip code lookup service, or a more complex order entry system, a well-implemented SOAP Web Service can make machine to machine communication very reliable, efficient, and best of all, easy.
However, there are also a lot of poorly-implemented SOAP Web Services, and they can cause more problems than they intend to solve. This is the first in a series of articles that attempt to expose some of the more common mistakes and misunderstandings people make when implementing a SOAP Web Service.
SOAP Worst Practice #1: Non-XML Content
One of the main reasons to create a SOAP Web Service over a REST one is that SOAP provides a standardized method to publish the message format for your service. The message is in XML, and its structure is defined in the WSDL, or Web Service Definition Language. If you have an XML document that you want to transfer, embed its format in the WSDL and any consumer will be able to know the format to send to it.
But, if you have non-XML data to transfer, SOAP is probably not your best choice. Continue reading
In my previous post, I gave a brief introduction to Web Services and started to discuss PostalMethods, one of many public Web Services available that can be invoked by EBI. Today’s blog will focus on how I configured EBI to use the PostalMethods API along with some useful features that can taken advantage of in their control panel.
Before constructing an Invoice spreadsheet that I was going to use for this proof of concept, I still needed to know how to submit the recipient’s address to PostalMethods. PostalMethods supports two methods of submitting the recipient’s address Continue reading