The growing phenomenon of multi-megabyte XML messages makes for one of the most intriguing stories in this month's Loosely Coupled monthly digest, which came out last week. The digest is our paid-subscription title, so the contents are not openly available (unless you subscribe, of course), but here's a rundown of what's in this month's issue.
From this month on, we're also running an excerpt from the lead article of the digest as a feature article on the website so you'll always get a flavor of what's inside. That doesn't mean, by the way, that we're going to stop publishing website features that are free to read, and it certainly doesn't mean we're going to start charging for access to our archive as it ages. Everything that's been free on the Loosely Coupled website will continue to be free. But if you want the extra reporting, analysis and presentation of the monthly digest, then you have to pay our very reasonable subscription rates (more about those below). This is what you get in the September issue:
Choking on XML everyone knows that XML causes a lot of bloat because it's a very verbose language, but that's not what this article is about. It seems that a lot of SOA projects are routinely passing around messages that are several megabytes in size and sometimes a gigabyte or more. A technical architect from a New York investment bank explains why that's a problem and why there's no easy answer.
Managing supplier risk Early adopters of SOA and web services are having to rely on untried technologies, and in most cases those come from untried suppliers. Some of them have been passing on their tips to us about how to assess the credentials of small, specialist suppliers in this emerging technology market. I guess Actional, one of the companies mentioned, won't be enthralled about its prominence in our online excerpt it's not in its interests for us to harp on about the risks of dealing with start-ups. But it has to be said that Actional comes out of the full article smelling of roses, with Thomson Prometric's principal architect describing the company as "a great organization."
Migrating to web services The application architect with Australian government department Queensland Transport explains how it learnt to cope with unpredictable surges in demand when it upgraded its SOA from EDI to web services.
Unreliable bus schedules BEA admits that QuickSilver isn't going to be quick enough for some customers; and we find that IBM and Microsoft aren't doing any better with their service bus plans.
News summary Identity at the edge, open source SOA, and other key themes and stories from the summer's news.
If that tempts you, you should know that our special launch prices are still in operation, so if you subscribe this month you'll get our first issue free and the rest of the year's subscription (to June next year) for $195, a savings of $100 (ie one third off) compared to the normal price. We also have $100 off the 'team license', which lets you distribute copies to your colleagues. And if you want to test the water, take out a 3-month subscription for $85 this month and you'll get four issues (April, July, September and October) plus all current subscribers will get a free copy of our SOA directory, which we'll be publishing next week.