The creation of web services have significantly changed the manner in which communication in the internet is carried out between various communications devices. Before the development of web services, there was a lot of difficult in establishing communication between different computers though the internet offered more easier way of communicating via the use of text file which could be used parsed in HTML files. With web services, the more difficult and programmatic calling of procedures has been reduced to call that are made to simple text messages which are often exchanged between interconnected systems. With the use of web service, it is now easier to integrate different applications regardless of the platform (Mattern & Woods 2006).
Reliable messaging a salient feature of the web services whose role is to facilitate receipt functionality in software systems. In the use of reliable messaging, the return address in often placed in the header so as to ensure that the message is delivered to the appropriate destination. In configuring the use of reliable messaging, there is need to set up the messaging port to utilize the reliable messaging. The use of reliable messaging is particularly useful in areas where different technologies have been deployed as it limits the chances of information loss during transfer processes. Most important is the fact that reliable messaging uses quality of service options that allows for prioritization of messages across a given platform of technologies to ensure that message are delivered as required (Chappell, 2004).
The use of reliable messaging can be found in Service Oriented Architecture where messages are used to provide communication between a requesting device and the device that responds to the request. The commutation of any form is such architecture is done via the us of messages. Reliable message are useful since their use ensure that messages are send to the appropriate recipients once thus avoiding duplication (Cummins, 2008).
With messages being sent reaching their destination as required, the use of reliable messaging is critical in the in continued of distributed systems which have require communication between different entities to synchronized so as to promote reliability within the system. There are numerous technologies which have been created to support web services reliable messaging features. Technologies like object messaging standards like JMS exist in the market (Bussler 2004). WS-RX TC is intended to be a protocol that will be used to provide communication between two web services through the application of reliable message exchanges. With a taskforce geared towards establishing a new protocol for communication reliable messaging between two web services, there are high possibilities that different web services will be able to communicate in systems. This will be a significant development in the field of web services development. Though the submission of recommendation on the design of this protocol, a mechanism for reliable communication between different Web services in likely to be developed in the future.
The development of web services centers on the use of XML which makes its usage possible however, there is difficulty associated with the use of XML being that large binary files cannot be transferred with appropriately. Web attachments are binary files that may be required to be transported from one point of a system to another. Attachment is therefore a functionality that allows for the transfer of binary form and may not be possible to be moved across a distributed system through the form of XML. Attachment can be seen as functionalities that extend the overall function of the web services technnologies like SOAP ( Foster et al., 2002).
The useful of attachment cannot be underestimated in regard to web services. In cases where a distributed system is using SOAP messages, these messages are restricted to the use of XML only. However, it is sometimes necessary to transfer file in form of attachment instead of parsing them into XML format. While this files may not be transferred using the normal form of XML, the use of attachment is critical in ensuring that such file are transferred in a given distributed system. Through the use of web attachment, it is possible for SOAP messages to send files in their binary form. The need of web attachment is evident in a number of scenarios. Think of two camera located at different part of the beach yet they are connected to the coast guards offices, it would be vital not only for the web service in the two camera to provide a text file of t the condition of the beach but also a snapshot of the beach at given time. Since a snapshot would need to be transferred in form of binary format, the use of attachment would come handy.
In order to successfully use the web attachment, it is important to encode the attachment such as the snapshot of the beach in the form of other file format like MIME. This can allow other attachment to be delivered from one point to another. This integration would require that the binary data to be transferred first be encoded using a user defined scheme such as the base64 and then sent as a payload of the SOAP body. An easier technique's is the use of attachments where given API can be used to develop SOAP messages that support attachments. This attachment will then be used to carry the other binary files. Through the use of other techniques such as MIME-encoding, XML payload as well as necessary attachment, messages in service oriented architecture will be sent as well as binary data.
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