WWW9 Devday Distributed Computing Track

WWW9 Devday: Distributed Computing Track

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Organizer: Dave Winer, Userland

9:00-10:30: SOAP and XML-RPC [Panel presentation]

Dave Winer leads a set of presentations and a panel discussion of the current and potential states of Distributed Computing protocols SOAP and XML-RPC.

The State of XML-RPC -- Dave Winer

Dave briefly describes XML-RPC, an XML-over-HTTP protocol for building distributed applications, its relationship to SOAP, and it's derivation from COM and Apple Events. An example from the publishing industry illustrates application of XML-RPC.

The State of SOAP -- Don Box

Don briefly describes the current state of the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), an XML-based remote method invocation protocol. Begins with brief discussion of SOAP protocol and examines the state and architecture of reference implementations, metadata, along with proposed extensions to the protocol. Common misconceptions and implementation issues are discussed.

Authenticated XML-RPC -- Jim Flanagan

Jim presents the view that if XML-RPC is to be deployed as a transport for distributed object systems where object methods control the state of various processes, rather than merely disseminate public information, it will be necessary to guarantee that only authorized parties be able to effect the changes. This protocol provides authentication only, and not encryption of the message traffic itself. It guarantees only that the message content originated from the authenticated party, and was not modified in transit. Nor does it provide for authorization, i.e. using roles to determine which parties can effect what changes, or have access to what information. First, an abstract definition of the protocol is given for the two phases, the establishment of an authenticated session, and the actual message traffic within that session, with sections that describe how this is implemented for XML-RPC.

Panel Discussion

Update on deployment, current implementations, problems that need attention, and the outlook for XML-RPC and SOAP.

10:30-11:00: Break

11:00-12:30: Distributed Publishing with XML

Distributed architecture for risk management in banking -- Joseph Erl

Banks are in the business of packaging and transferring risk; measuring risk in an accurate and timely manner, across diverse trading systems, across business lines and, increasingly, beyond national boundaries. A common approach attempts to data-warehouse trade information and then apply risk measurements techniques. This data-centric view of computing, although found in a great majority of institutions, is at best an impediment to the development of the business, and at worst architecturally unsound. Joseph Erl presents an alternative to data-centric approaches: a distributed, service-based architecture where the risk measurement applications leverage the inherent capabilities of trading systems, utilising Internet and the related technologies.

XML at Wired Digital -- Frank Leahy

Wired Digital is making a major investment in XML for both internal and external usage. Frank describes how Hotbot is being redesigned to take advantage of a new middle tier, being written in Java, that will deliver search results in XML over HTTP to the Hotbot front-end page servers. Frank discusses the problems that lead to the decision to add a middle tier to Hotbot, how and why they decided to use XML over HTTP instead of deploying a commercial application server, and their experience designing, building, testing and deploying the middle tier.

High Performance XML Creation and Parsing -- Ken Blackwell

Ken explains some techniques that his organization is using to develop a high-performance XML manipulation tool, called eXactML, that is orders of magnitude faster than DOM/SAX for reading/writing XML. Their technology takes a DTD/schema as input and generates code for a custom parser that reads/writes compliant XML data for that DTD/schema. Ken will show how they generate the custom parser, and explain the conditions under which this type of solution is more appropriate than generic parsers like DOM/SAX.

Updated: April 7, 2000