Modular Design

Modular Design

A core concept of Web services (in particular, the wire protocol: SOAP) is that they are very modular. One flaw of many other attempts at distributed application development specifications has been a reliance on getting everything into one specification. For example, if you don't need transactions, then there is no need to implement them. SOAP doesn't try to be a complete distributed application technology. It has many, many holes, and this is by design.

By focusing on simplicity and extensibility, it's possible to create distinct specifications for security, transactions, reliability, and so on without drowning in complications. Applications can combine features from specifications they need, including custom modules.

One of the design tenets of this book is that leveraging modularity is critical. Your own designs for Web services should follow a pattern similar to the standards. There are several rules by which to live:

  • Allow extensibility points.

  • Keep your namespaces easy to version by placing dates in them.

  • Don't try to solve every problem with one schema, WSDL, or other file. Break out the problem into pieces.

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