SOA and Web Services Go Mobile with Nokia


News: SOA and Web Services Go Mobile with Nokia

  1. SOA and Web Services Go Mobile with Nokia (4 messages)

    SOA is moving into the mobile world. Nokia made an announcement at JavaOne about the new Service-Oriented Architecture framework that they are building for smart phones. The SOA framework isn't just about SOAP and, but rather asynchronous Web services.

    OK, a mobile Web service client is not exactly a new idea. I talked about it more than two years ago back in 2002. The .Net Compact Framework has been supporting Web services for quite some time now. On the Java side, kSOAP is a J2ME based SOAP parser and the JSR 172 provides a standard set of XML and SOAP APIs on J2ME devices. Tools like Visual Studio, IBM WebSphere Device Developer, JBuilder, and SunONE Studio have provided code generators to drastically simply the work for developers. I wrote a kSOAP tutorial in August 2002 and also covered both kSOAP and JSR 172 extensively in my "Enterprise J2ME" book.

    Those are all nice. However, there is a key problem with the current approaches: All the frameworks more or less assumed that the device interact with one service endpoint at a time in a synchronous remote procedure call (RPC) mode. That is to take all the overhead of Web service but get little of the promised flexibility, scalability and asynchrony in return. Indeed, most developers opt to implement custom RPC protocols to interface with mobile servers. I recommended building a service facade to hide the backend complexity in this simple scenario.
    Read more: SOA and Web Services Go Mobile, Nokia-Style
  2. Why does it always have to be bloody WebServices, if you want to distribute services to phones, nearly all of which support Java why make the effort to do everything in XML. I like the idea of SOA on mobile technologies but why SOAP, what's wrong with Java??? Use a JMS, JavaSpaces or something in between like ActiveSpace

  3. Actually Carly Fiorina was demoing web services, (the original HP e-speak platform) with mobile phones at Comdex in 1999 I believe. Their approach made more sense since it was a XML discovery protocol and could support a drop down once the conversation was established.
  4. And we did it (Web services) once even with Java Cards :-)

    Dmitry Namiot
  5. It's still a long way more[ Go to top ]

    This all sounds cool and is probably something that will happen some day. I especially like the asynchronous bit because mobile network latencies are still high and synchronous processing doesn't always make for good user experience.

    However, this is not something that will happen soon. As it stands in today's mainstream phones, using XML your apps could do one or more of the following:
    1. The XML parser could take up so much space your App can't install
    2. Your App runs out of memory and crashes with all the XML parsing you're doing
    3. Your App slows to a crawl coz of all the parsing overhead
    4. Your App experiences a lot of network latency because you're transmitting a lot of bloated XML data over the network

    Well, if you're trying to call web services and nothing else, it might just work. But if your App is trying to actually do something under the constraints of processing power and memory, trying to squeeze in web services will take up a lot of precious resources that will be otherwise used in doing something useful.

    If mainstream phones today are already choking on XML, I think we're a long way off from make web services work on mainstream phones.

    Only smart phones with lots of memory and CPU muscle would be able to pull this off, and this will hinder uptake. Because of the nature of the mobile content business, you won't get a lot of people developing on your technology or platform until they can expect to make good ROI quick. If Nokia wants to do this, they will have to really work hard at seeding the development of compelling content in the early stages.