More on UDDI. As part of my reasearch for the new book, I had an excuse to call Mike Clark, a senior analyst with Lucin in Whales, and learn more about SalCentral and their work with UDDI. SalCentral wants to be a broker (publisher or distributor) for web services. The site currently lists ~350 web services that are available for public use. All of the web services listed on the site use SOAP and have WSDL files. Some use the SOAP RPC model and others use the "doc" model, which according to Mike, is the greatest single cause of their support calls. (Many SOAP toolkits such as SOAP::Lite are RPC-only, whereas .NET uses the doc model.)
Mike has an interesting perspective on the recent criticisms of UDDI. Last December, in an article on WebServicesArchitect.com, he wrote, "I believe that currently that UDDI has been misinterpreted as a one-stop shop (similar to a web search engine) for finding, selecting, and keeping track of Web Services and suppliers." UDDI has been criticized for containing all the junk that anyone wants to list there. Mike's point is that this is like criticizing the Internet because it allows anyone to publish anything. Talking to Mike, I had one of those Aha! moments. The problem is that we've placed UDDI at the wrong point in the protocol stack. It's not the equivalent of a Google; it's the equivalent of the Web. UDDI is the "place" where anyone can post structured references to anything. This is as opposed to unstructured information on the Web. As with the Web, there's another layer of value-added services that will organize, rank and otherwise make sense of this data. It's Google on the Web. It will be services like SalCentral for UDDI.
SalCentral has been testing a new in-house tool that crawls UDDI the same way Google crawls the Web. Mike says they've found ~250 valid web services in UDDI, or 42% of those that claim to be there. Many more cool things to come from Lucin and SalCentral. Stay tuned.
Posted Tuesday, June 11, 2002 12:42:18 PM