Cross-Platform Computing with XML Web Services

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Dr. D. Robert Adams, adams@cis.gvsu.edu

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Web services provide a platform-agnostic, message-based approach to distributed software systems. The focus of this project was to develop web services with both the Java and .NET platforms, and consume the services from a single web application. Though both development platforms offer shortcuts to deploying web services which insulate the developer from the XML-based technologies which are the foundation of all web services, a better development approach is available.

Known as Contract-First, this process emphasizes the definition of the service's public interface as the key to more interoperable web services. Taking a Contract-First approach focuses attention first on the specific messages to be exchanged when invoking the service, using XML Schema to define the message structure. Platform-specific implementation code is written to implement the service contract, keeping idiosyncrasies of a given language or platform safely hidden behind the interface and leading to more interoperable web services

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