The keynote on the thursday morning was from Microsoft, some of it was fairly content free but the interoperability stuff was interesting. There have a special lab that work on interoperability that works with a range of technologies. It is refreshing to see the amount of work that has gone into this after years of apparently making things harder than necessary for developers. Probably it is just a matter of the software development world growing up and will hopefully be the trend for the future.
From the web services point of view the most interesting presentation of the day was concerning the Stonehenge project hosted on Apache. This looked at a modularized business application where component from either .NET or JEE can be swapped in and out at will. Interesting example of how WS-* standard are maturing and the good work Sun and MS have done in this area.
There were two numbers that were of interest in this presentation. The first is 73% which is the number of developer who use .NET as part of there day to day work. (Pretty sure this must include anybody who uses IE for example; but it was made clear) The second is 41, the poor chap from Microsoft unfortunately got the meaning to life the universe any everything quite wrong. :-)
TS-4402 Metro Web Services Security Usage Scenarios
Conveniently in the same room as I as presenting in Harold Carr who is the lead for all things web services in Sun. He had some really nice slides explain the details of WS-Security in various combination which are well worth a look. Netbeans was used to show the basic security profiles, looks like it makes it much easier to get started and pick a relevant technology combination. There is a lot we can learn from how Netbeans deals with security.
TS-4993 Dealing with Asynchrony n Java Technology Based Web Services
This appeared to go over okay, really quite happy with the numbers. (We think around 300-400 which was good given the overall numbers from last year). I guess time and review forms will tell if the crowd liked it. Had Lucas Jellema in the front row taking pictures now and then which made the occasion just that little bit more relaxed.
Got a good question about Async and REST, gave me a lot to ponder as I got lost on the way back from my afternoon meetings.
Lunch / afternoon meeting / after dark
Had a nice lunch with Manoj my co presenter, Lucas and Wouter who works with Lucas. Then I had a meeting with the weblogic web service team who happen to work in down town SF so I got to go topside for a few hours.
It was nice to put some faces to people, hey Thorick say hi to everybody for me, and then have a very civilized afternoon tea with bone china cups and cucumber sandwiches that is a tradition in that office. (Feels like home) I did then make a tactical mistake on the walk back to my hotel; glad I 'discovered' Broad Street in the sun rather than at night.
By the time I had managed to get back to the hotel, I had just enough time to pick up a nice big glass of wine at the after dark bash along with some food before my planned evening sessions. I would have enjoyed the after dark party better if it had been outside; but apparently there was as chance of rain..... oh well. Also it would be nice if the party continued until an hour *after* the presentation finished to give more time for socializing... oh well.
BOF-4903 A RESTful approach to Identity-Based Web Services
Didn't really get a lot from this, it might have been just the long walk; but I didn't really jell with what the presenters were saying. Some mention of ID-WSF was made.
BOF-5376 Building Consistent RESTful APIs in a High Performance Environment
This was a really interesting presentation from the developers behind the LinkedIn RESTful API. They have to scale so they have been thinking a lot about how things fit together. They described the tension between Variety, the ability to get just what you want, and Uniformity which is different APIs return a consistent model.
In order to ensure Uniformity they talked about the importance of a consistent data model. A old concept but something that people seem to have forgotten in the rush to REST. To deal with the Variety issue that made an interesting use of matrix URIs to allow clients to only get the information back they want:
Basic data model is: /people /id /name /email /photo /best-friend /friends (People) /jobs (Jobs) /companies Return the basic record for user 123, probably too much information for most cases .../people/123 Return just the name and photo for user 123 .../people/123:(name,photo) Return the friends for user 123 with there names and the names and pictures of there best friends .../people/123/friends:(name,photo,best-friends:(name,photo)) Return the friends for user 123 with there sorted by name .../people/123/friends;sort=name:(name,photo)
The cool thing about these is that they appear in the HTTP log so it is easy to see which is getting hit the most and optimize for that case. In one case study they reduced traffic to a partner by 28% which I guess all adds up. I guess you need be more relaxed about how your schemas are designed if using XML. Less of a problem if you are using JSON. I wonder how hard this would be to do in Jersey.....