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Developing Trends: The Drag on Web Services

Reality Strikes

Fact is, for Web services to be useful, an organization needs more assurance than "everything will be OK ... as long as no more than 5 percent of your employees hit this application at the same time."

Not long ago, I wrote a Web-based operations application that works only with Internet Explorer, so I could test IE's JavaScript/Web services interface. I found that, though the interface works as advertised, IE leaks memory when calling Web services. And because the application I wrote is one that users tend to leave on 24/7, the Web service is called every 10 seconds, leading to massive memory consumption and torturously sluggish system performance. That just won't fly.

And I don't think this is one of those "it will get better with time" situations. Many vendors are committed to Java and .Net, and I believe the performance bottleneck is in the platform. No one considers Xerces and Xalan--the Java XML processing libraries--fast, nor do they appreciate the low speed with which MS-XML processes files. Yet when I suggested to one developer that portions of his company's architecture should be rebuilt using something faster, like C or C++, he responded matter-of-factly, "That's not how Java works." Duh.

Stuck in Our Ways

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