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W3C has quietly published a member submission for WSDL 1.1 Binding Extension for SOAP 1.2  last week.  The note was co-submitted by SAP, Microsoft, IBM and Oracle.

An answer for a long-time question

Though many of us think SOAP1.2 and WSDL 2.0 make a good pair for migration plan and many WSDL2.0 design considerations are indeed well-aligned with SOAP1.2, the timing is working against WSDL 2.0 adoption.

While SOAP1.2 is gaining more and more industry supports, WSLD 2.0 is still yet to come out of the door of W3C. Too bad, but after 4 years painful birth, WSDL 2.0 is still in labor. As both Java and .net are adding support for SOAP 1.2, the reality now is – You have to define SOAP 1.2 binding using WSDL 1.1, and it is becoming a more and more real interoperability challenge. Without a common specification for such binding, what you can do? Well, try your own luck.

The WSDL 1.1 Binding Extension for SOAP 1.2  spec fills in that gap, and is the answer to the above question. Its co-submitters are considering incorporaton of the spec in their Web services platforms.

How is it different from WSDL1.1 binding for SOAP1.1?

Let’s start with some code example (quoted from the submission )

Well, last week was not a good week for the W3C WSDL 2.0 initiative. First of all, WS-I was pondering to start two working groups to produce a new set of profiles that will address issues such as messaging correlation, security, and reliability. In the proposed charters, SOAP1.2 is in,  MTOM and XOP are in, ws-addressing is in, ws-rx is in, …,  but WSDL 2.0? completely out! Not even being mentioned. 

Now comes this submission. The spec is great, it solves a real problem. However, for WSDL 2.0, this might be another hit in the head, despite the note states that:

This specification should be considered as a transitional solution to describe SOAP 1.2-based Web services using the WSDL 1.1 Member Submission. The W3C Web Services Description Working Group is working on WSDL 2.0 which contains a SOAP 1.2 binding. Web Services Description Language (WSDL) 2.0 Part 2: Adjuncts is in Candidate Recommendation stage at the time of acknowledgement of this Member Submission. The community is encouraged to switch to the WSDL 2.0 SOAP 1.2 binding once WSDL 2.0 becomes a W3C Recommendation

Well said, but …

While this submission, plus the guidance in WS-I Basic Profiles, has fixed all the glorying problems with WSDL 1.1, we will see more and more happy users of WSDL 1.1. As a member of the WSDL 2.0 working group since its inception, this is sad to me, but I have to start wondering – who will care to migrate, even though WSDL2.0 provides a better design?

I am crossing my fingers for WSDL 2.0.

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