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SOAP Web Services in jQuery vs JavaScript

Posted by bcmoney on December 12, 2009 in JavaScript, Web Services with No Comments

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So I’ve been working with a LOT more SOAP-based Web Services since I’ve started up in a government software development position.

While in the past, most of my Web Service development has focused on creating or consuming RESTful Web Services, now my current position requires that I integrate with legacy systems built many years ago (with internal code largely untouched); in some cases, I don’t even have access to the original code, which doesn’t give me the option to switch or simply update the Web Services layer to use a simpler REST-based mechanism. Since we’re utilizing an ESB, I also need to maintain some form of data availability for the more complex stuff we need to do on the project (event-driven actions, rules, transformations, routing, logging and the like), and no, the ESB is NOT a good bandage for old systems, I think that is a common fallacy.

At the same time, we also need to build a Rich Internet Application and sometimes I want to go and get the data for a given object (i.e. User List upon loading). Thus, I’ve devised some approaches for calling SOAP-based Web Services directly from the client, via JavaScript and/or jQuery. My first choice was obviously to use jQuery but later I was told by my employer that due to licensing and other various business/political concerns it would not be desired in the final product, so I had to really go back to the old school and call the SOAP Web Services by hand from JavaScript directly.

In fact, I had to first prove it was even possible as I had many doubters on the team as well as superiors in charge of decision-making who doubted that it was even technically possible to call SOAP Web Services from JavaScript!

The following is the short and somewhat elegant (considering the situation) jQuery approach:
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BC$ = Behavior, Content, Money

The goal of the BC$ project is to raise awareness and make changes with respect to the three pillars of information freedom - Behavior (pursuit of interests and passions), Content (sharing/exchanging ideas in various formats), Money (fairness and accessibility) - bringing to light the fact that:

1. We regularly hand over our browser histories, search histories and daily online activities to companies that want our money, or, to benefit from our use of their services with lucrative ad deals or sales of personal information.

2. We create and/or consume interesting content on their services, but we aren't adequately rewarded for our creative efforts or loyalty.

3. We pay money to be connected online (and possibly also over mobile), yet we lose both time and money by allowing companies to market to us with unsolicited advertisements, irrelevant product offers and unfairly structured service pricing plans.

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