UDDI Questions

Andy sent some questions on UDDI that I’m going to attempt to answer. If you agree, disagree, or have additions, please drop a comment.


How do you compare UDDI to other methods of discovering networked resources

(may or may not be web services)

What’s the difference a global UDDI registry and…
– google: controlled by a single organization
– open, and replicated by other search engines
– DNS: governed by ICANN, but organizations can apply to be registrars
– others?

Do the above services have the same weakness you attribute to a UDDI global registry?

In some ways, we’re talking apples, oranges, cherries, and perhaps some peaches. They’re all fruit, but the similarity ends at that point.

UDDI is a centralized discovery service managed by a consortium of organizations, the content of which may or may not be striped across serveral different servers. Information is added to the repository by submission of those with services to provide.

Google is a discovery service that is also centralized under one authority, but uses many different methods to discover information including automated agents (bots), subscription to other services (such as dmoz) and manual intervention.

Google, though, has an interesting twist to it’s discovery mechanism: it has a set of algorithms which are constantly evaluating and merging and massaging its raw data in order to provide additional measurements, ensuring higher degrees of accuracy and recency. The discovery of data is never the same two times running within a collection period.

The dmoz directory is a great open source effort to categorize information intelligently. In other words, the data is manually added and categorized to the directory. This makes the directory extremely efficient when it comes to human interpretation of data. You might say that with dmoz, the “bots” are human. You get the world involved then you have a high level of intelligent categorization of data. Only problem, though, is that human interpretation of data is just as unreliable as mechanical interpretation at times.

However, dmoz is probably the closest to UDDI of the network discovery services you’ve listed primarily because of this human intervention.

Finally, DNS. DNS does one thing and as pissy as people are about it, it does the one thing reasonably well. The web has grown to huge proportions with something like DNS to handle naming and location of resources.

In some ways, DNS is closest to what I consider an iron-free cloud if you look at it from an interpretation point of view (not necessarily implementation). You have all these records distributed across all these authoritative servers providing a definitive location of a resource. Then you have these other servers that basically do nothing more than query and cache these locations to make access to these resources more quickly and the whole framework more scalable.

In some ways I think UDDI is like DNS, also. You can have UDDI records distributed across different servers to make service lookup more efficient, and to make the whole process more scalable.

This same approach also happens with Circle, Chord, and Freenet if you think about it (the whole store and forward, query and cache at closer servers or peers so that the strain of the queries aren’t channeled to a few machines).

UDDI is like DNS for another reason: controlling organization and potential political problems. ICANN hasn’t had the best rep managing the whole DNS/registrar situation. In particular, you should ask some of the Aussie ISP’s what they think of the whole thing. They’ve had trouble with ICANN in the past.

All of the services share one common limitation: they all have hard coded entry points, and all have some organization as controller. I don’t care how altruistic the motives, there is a controlling body. There’s iron in all the approaches. All of them.



Emerging Technologies Conf

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Dave mentioned today that he’ll be giving a presentation at the Emerging Technologies Conference.

My conference proposal was rejected, which was disappointing — particularly since the session I gave at the first P2P conference was successful. Such is life.

So if you’re going to the conference you can see Dave, but you’ll miss the following session:


Proposal Information


Title: Smart Web Services

Conference: O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference 2002

Type: Paper

Duration: 45m

Audience Level: Experienced

Audience Type: Session is geared towards developers, technology architects, and other technology practioners.

Preferred Date: All


How’s this for a product: you put it out on the street, and it goes out and finds the customer rather than waiting for the customer to find it.

Web services are handy, but they’re passive and not all that smart. What’s missing in their basic implementation is other functionality such as web service events, transaction management, security, service discovery, verification, as well as service identification.

In particular, web services sit passively waiting for a client to discover them, through UDDI or other publication processes.

This session takes a look at one aspect of smarter web services — service discovery and identification. In particular it looks at the use of Resource Description Framework (RDF) in addition to other technologies to create services that that can actively market themselves. Borrowing from the efforts associated with the semantic web and intelligent agents, in addition to the decentralization research of P2P, these services can then seek out the client, rather than waiting for the client to seek them.

Actual demonstrations of both technology and concepts will be provided in the session.


What do I want

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I am having a particularly troublesome night tonight with technology.

I look at RSS and syndication and say, well this is neat technology. But what about the interactivity? What about the context of each communication? If you think about it RSS and syndication strips away any mark of individuality of the posting and returns only an isolated bit of news, along side other isolated bits of news.

It’s nice, but not what I’m looking for. It has part of what I’m looking for, the seeds of something interesting.

UDDI sounds good on paper — shop for web services from a centralized service that is, in actuality, distributed nodes within a cloud. But then I look at the sponsors and I look at the specifications and I look at the potential restrictions and this is not what I want. Still, other seeds are getting planted.

Lots of talk about two-way web and that sounds appealing — let’s all work together. Hey. La La La. And with this we want to do … what was it again? More seeds, but no sprouts.

Google — all of the world’s sum total information in a little bitty living space. Smart bot, smarter algorithm. Big seeds, getting closer.

Web services. Seeds and some fertilizer throw in.

What do I want. What do I want.

I want to put my head next to my laptop monitor and have it tell me what I want, and then go find it for me.


Fool You!

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

My Alter Ego pure tech weblog started getting buzzzy and I figured I was getting link-love from someone. Sure enough a quick look at the referrers and I found this link at Scripting News, quoting my words:

“I will continue to beat you about the head on this issue until you ultimately bow to my superior knowledge on this subject.”

I had such at laugh at this, and I bet Dave did also. Here’s all these people hitting the site thinking I’m ripping Dave a new one, and instead I’m trashing UDDI — a subject that both Dave and I are in strong agreement on.

Fool you! Fool you!


UDDI is not the approach

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Thanks to TX Meryl, I found this article describing web services in clear, comprehensible terms.

I like the article, but UDDI is NOT the approach to take for web services discovery. Not! Not! Not! Not!

Create a beautiful distributed technology, and then capture it and constrain it by a centralized discovery service operated by big companies. I don’t care if UDDI can be mirrored — that’s not the point!

Think about the technology Google uses to find all the information that we’ve become dependent on. Think about how well the company processes it and packages it and delivers it. I can find anything on the web, thanks to Google.

This exact same type of functionality can be used to discover web services if we implement a few (few, mind you) common specifications. We Don’t Need UDDI. The web of discovery will work for web services as it works for weblogging as it works for Google.

I will continue to beat you about the head on this issue until you ultimately bow to my superior knowledge on this subject 😉