It's time to do away with this "Web" service thing... long live XML services!

Stefan Tilkov blogs about my rebuttal to ERH’s rather limited comment about “nobody’s doing Web services over anything over HTTP anyway” (which generated some additional postings, most notably from Steve Vinoski), but says something pretty fundamental:

I think its just a matter of perspective: for Web scenarios, nobody uses anything but HTTP anyway, and for the vast majority of company-internal use-cases, Id consider HTTP to be a much better solution than some vendors proprietary messaging middleware. But even if one assumes that HTTP is going to become the protocol of choice for EAI as well, WS-A still has merit to support asynchronous processing of SOAP messages.
Forgetting for a moment the word “proprietary” here (because the difference between “proprietary” and “open standard” is much smaller than most people think), it bears repeating that not all of the work in this space is happening over the web; in fact, I’m finding that more companies are interested in integrating inside the corporate network than they are over the Internet. Granted, the B-to-B scenario is still compelling and attractive, but most corporations seem to be more focused on getting their internal house in shape before they start inviting guests over.

The problem is that when we say “Web services”, the “web” part of it implies HTTP and REST and all that other stuff. It’s time we faced reality: SOAP is not just for doing stuff over the Internet. It’s time we started calling them what they are: XML services. Unfortunately, I don’t think the W3C is going to change the name of WSDL to XSDL or XS-Addressing any time soon, but that doesn’t stop us from at least trying. My promise: if you catch me, in a presentation or class lecture, using the term “Web services”, and you’re the first to point it out, I owe you a quarter. Long live XML services!