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Developing Web Services: Handling Problems Along the Way  : Page 7

Once developers recognize certain design issues and patterns, the first barrier to Web services development is conquered. In this second article in a five-part series, we cut through another barrier with common sense guidance to help developers gain proficiency quickly and avoid the most common problems.

Prepare for Deployment
Once you release your Web services to production, you want to feel assured that customers will find them robust, reliable, and efficient. The price of that assurance is to consider how to implement and test for functionality, security, reliability, and scalability. You may have to tackle other Web service deployment issues, too, based on customer requirements and your IT infrastructure.

A successful Web service implementation starts with sound design, but many issues are encountered during development and deployment that are not known when the first designs are done. By planning ahead and studying the component parts of your development process, you can plow easily through troubles when they arise. Remember these key techniques and you'll avoid most problems:

  • Use XML schemas to clearly define the message data types being exchanged between Web services.
  • Provide a WSDL class for your Web service to enhance interoperability.
  • Use document-style messaging to enhance flexibility and reusability of your Web services.
  • Understand when customized programming might be required.
  • Consider XML security and XML digital signatures to encrypt and secure your SOAP messages.
  • Evaluate available development and testing tools, with special emphasis on Web services-specific features.
  • Determine how to utilize deployment and management data to facilitate development.

Chris Peltz is a software consultant in HP's Developer Resource Organization, providing consulting on J2EE, Web services, and mobile architectures. His September presentation at HP World 2002 in Los Angeles outlined practical steps for making a Web services pilot successful. He will speak later this year at HP Software Universe in Lisbon, Portugal. He has more than 10 years of experience in object-oriented development, user interface design, Web development, and J2EE architectures. He can be reached at chris.peltz@hp.com.
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