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October 22, 2002—In this issue:
1. DEVELOPER .NET PERSPECTIVES
- Exploring UDDI
- Subscribe to Windows & .NET Magazine and Receive an eBook Gift!
- Get Connected with Connected Home
3. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Leverage .NET Development with the Eiffel Language Plug-In
4. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
1. DEVELOPER .NET PERSPECTIVES
(contributed by Bill Sheldon, firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you've been working with XML Web services in Visual Studio .NET, you might be familiar with Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration. UDDI is the term used to describe how Web services are "advertised." Most developers are familiar with how to use UDDI at design time to retrieve the Web Services Description Language (WSDL) file associated with a Web service, but few are familiar with how to use UDDI at runtime.
If you go to http://uddi.microsoft.com/developer/default.aspx, you'll find Microsoft's UDDI portal for developers. The UDDI portal is the yellow pages for Web services—it provides a way for developers to find out about published Web services. If you have a Web service that's publicly available, posting a reference to it (i.e., advertising it) on this site lets other developers and businesses find your service at design time. Using a public forum to advertise a Web service, however, has two limitations:
- If you want to publish your Web service to only developers within your organization (and not developers worldwide), the public UDDI site isn't an appropriate forum. This site is for Web services meant for public consumption.
- When you create a Web service-based implementation in the current version of Visual Studio .NET, you create a link to a Web service on a server. Thus, after you've referenced UDDI at design time, you've locked your implementation to a specific Web service. If you change the Web service's location, you can't notify those people who previously used the portal to locate your service about the new URL.
When Microsoft releases Windows .NET Server (Win.NET Server) 2003, you'll be able to overcome these limitations. Win.NET Server provides an optional feature called Enterprise UDDI Services, which lets you create a private UDDI publishing server. Thus, you can set up a server within your organization to test the Web services you're planning to publish or publish Web services that are for internal consumption only.
Win.NET Server's Enterprise UDDI Services supports UDDI 2.0 Programmer's API and UDDI 1.0 Programmer's API. You can also use a programmatic API to interact with Enterprise UDDI Services. Thus, you can automatically add and remove Web services as you define them, which is great as you begin to create dozens of Web services within your organization. You can get more information about Enterprise UDDI Services at:
In addition to letting you advertise Web services internally, Enterprise UDDI Services provides a way for you to change the implementation if that necessity arises in the future. To understand how Enterprise UDDI Services eliminates the second limitation, you need to examine what Visual Studio .NET does. When you use Visual Studio .NET to create a Web service, you get a WSDL file that includes a reference to the server that's hosting the Web service. In many ways, this reference is the root of the problem because if you rely on the WSDL file, you're reliant on the URL.
Enterprise UDDI Services changes this situation by making the environment more like that of a COM-based development. A COM object's definition in the system registry contains information about a physical path on the hard disk. Because of that path information, developers can reference that object without needing to know its physical location on the system. The layer of abstraction that COM provides about the physical location of objects on the local system is similar to the level of abstraction that UDDI provides regarding the physical location of the Web services.
The long-term power of using UDDI and WSDL to create a Web service-based implementation is that you have a truly distributed computing environment. The ability to decouple the implementation from the interface, which was previously available only in desktop development, becomes available across a heterogeneous WAN. The central system registry on the desktop is replaced by a distributed UDDI server. And the Interface Definition Language (IDL), which defines the interfaces that a COM object exposes, is replaced by the WSDL, which describes the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) interfaces associated with the distributed objects.
Currently, Enterprise UDDI Services might not be quite up to release standards. When Win.NET Server gets released, you can expect to see updates to the available tools. To start exploring how to take advantage of UDDI not just as a design-time protocol to find and reuse Web services but also as a tool to provide runtime abstraction, check out UDDI .NET software development kit (SDK) 2.0 Beta 1. You can find UDDI .NET SDK 2.0 Beta 1 and lots of other reference information at:
Finally, a quick note to those of you who requested copies of my project source files to use as examples: I'm still adding some comments and installation instructions. I'll send those files to you as soon as possible.
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3. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Sue Cooper, email@example.com)
Eiffel Software released Eiffel ENViSioN!, a plug-in for Visual Studio .NET that lets you use the Eiffel language at the same level as the other Microsoft .NET languages. The plug-in's "code once, run on many platforms" feature lets you migrate applications to and from different platforms, and use component libraries across platforms. The Eiffel language's objects offer greater reusability than objects created with other languages. Eiffel is the only .NET language to offer multiple inheritance and "genericity" (i.e., support for type-parameterized class modules). Eiffel also supports contract mechanisms natively, as an actual language construct. Eiffel ENViSioN! runs on Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows NT. The cost is $999 per license. A free, non-expiring version is available, but this version doesn’t include all features or allow commercial development. Contact Eiffel Software at 805-685-1006 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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