Blogger: Anne Thomas Manes
Most blog posts you see regarding WS-* vs REST tend to trash SOAP and espouse the virtues of REST. This post by Ganesh Prasad takes a contrarian perspective, defending the elegance of what Ganesh calls the "SOAP-messaging-using-Smart-Endpoints" style. Ganesh entitles his post, "Paying the RESTafarians Back in Their Own Coin," although he really doesn't trash REST in his post. He simply espouses the virtues of the SOAP-messaging-using-Smart-Endpoints" model.
The post starts off as very educational -- the first part describes the virtues of the Internet and its reliance on a dumb network that only knows how to deliver packets (which it does remarkably well) and smart endpoints.
His argument gets less convincing, though, when he attempts to correlate the Internet's elegant model with that of WS-*. He implies that the WS-* model doesn't require intelligent middleware to be responsible for routing SOAP messages -- it only requires "endpointware". But then he goes on to talk about intermediaries and proxies, which in truth are intelligent mediation processors. I believe his point, though, is that you don't need a big fat ESB in the middle to direct traffic. ESBs should do most of their mediation processing at the endpoint -- think of an ESB as a service platform rather than a mediation system-- it is the endpoint.
All-in-all, I like the post, and I agree with his assertion that ESBs should operate at the endpoint rather than in the middle (at least most of the time). And I agree that there is a great deal of elegance in the SOAP-messaging-using-Smart-Endpoints model. (I don't think it's quite as simply elegant as REST, nonetheless, it is elegant.)
Read his thesis with a grain of salt. His argument has quite a few holes in it, as pointed out in Stu Charlton's comment (the 11th comment by "Stu").