WSE 2.0: Room for Improvement?

There is no doubt that the web-services team at Microsoft are ahead of the game when it comes to supporting the latest specifications for web-services technology. I’ve been fortunate enough to get my hands on WSE 2.0 and have spent some getting my hands dirty with it.

Overall I have been extremely impressed with the set of API’s however as it nears release I’ve been spending more time with customers talking to them about how they can leverage the toolset create standards compliant web-services. Now, most customers have seen the five minute marketing presentation on building and consuming a web-service using .NET (hey, I was impressed when I first saw it – I build my first web-service on a crusty old version of SOAP4J).

When it comes time to talk about WSE I explain that Microsoft has three basic developer profiles that they target their tools at, Mort, Elvis and Einstein. The out of the box way to build and consume web-services is very much for your Mort developers, but WSE is more for your Elvis types (has anyone else described it like this). WSE 2.0 builds a proxy just like the out of the box functionality if you want to consume services in an RPC-manner – but I am trying to encourage my customers to think more message orientated.

What I would like to see in the next release of WSE (3.0, lets consider 2.0 feature frozen) is a really compelling designer experience. I’m not talking about an additional option on the project context menu, I am talking about dragging and dropping components onto the component design surface to allow me to configure the pipeline. Dammit! When a message arrives I want to be able to wireup to a “MessageArrived” event in the designer to rip the body of the envelope out.

I really wish I had thought about this much earlier, but unfortunately I didn’t. I’d also love to hear what Keith and the team plan post WSE 2.0, are we going to have to wait for Indigo? You better have a Indigo4Mort (or Wse4Mort) experience sorted, let me tell you!

2 thoughts on “WSE 2.0: Room for Improvement?

  1. Christian Weyer

    Mitch, did you ever think that WSE might actually be ‘just’ a technological playground for all the WS-* specs and for finding an ‘optimal’ programming model on the road to Indigo …? Might be …

    Other than that, there is a little GUI support for WSE with the integrated WSE tool in VS.NET. Yes, it is just a start … but I guess we will never see a drag and drop and click-e-di-click feature for WSE.

    For the event-based programming model expect to see something quite interesting when WSE 2.0 went live.

    Sorry for the noise.

  2. Mitch Denny

    Hi Christian,

    Thanks for posting! I guess my comment is that enterprise is looking to roll on web-service technology right now, and the feature set in WSE in terms of spec support is a vital element in delivering those applications.

    Unfortunately, not everyone has enough of an appreciation of the WSE archiecture to be able to work effectively at that level. They need higher level support. The UI tweaks that WSE are a great start, but it doesn’t necessarily tie in with the component design surface which is a big piece of VS.NET.

    Indigo seems to be taking a layered approach which will deliver a productivity sweet spot – I would have liked to have atleast seen a preview in WSE.

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