So lately I’ve been on the front lines of the Web services war. Well, it’s not really a war since I’m not fighting anyone, but it feels that way. Here are a few of my findings so far:

  • It’s not uncommon to find Web services that don’t adhere to any “standard.” I wrote a web service for a client to use that was based on a web service they were already using. It was totally ad hoc.
  • SOAP is a pain. I’ve sat down and tried to figure out SOAP several times, and have never come away really understanding it. I still haven’t gotten used to writing SOAP services using Axis that I can call using the Axis libraries. The idea of writing SOAP services that will be called from .NET applications totally freaks me out.
  • REST is fun. If you’re going to deploy a Web service from scratch, it sure seems like REST is the way to go, mainly because it’s just like all of the other Web apps you’ve written except you don’t have to deal with presentation stuff.
  • Even if you do follow the “standards,” integrating with your clients is still a major league walk through the swamp, same as it ever was.