Friday, April 02, 2004

Tech question...

I've run across a number of web service operations that look like 'foreign-key' relationships.

As an example, look at the following web service operations:
getTeams() // returns a list of all teams, including all the team id's
getPlayers(teamID) // returns a list of players, for a specific team id

Now, this seems intuitive for a human to figure out - call getTeams(), and then use the key to make a call to getPlayers(theKey) for the team you want. However, this isn't intuitive for a computer to figure out. When you are in an interactive setting (InfoPath, Excel, etc.), and you make a call to getPlayers(..), you want the software to give you a drop-down list of all of the teams. But in order for this to happen, the software (Excel or whatever), needs to know about the relationship between the two operations (getTeams and getPlayers). This information is usually capture at the DB level and is also captured at the object level (UML), but I don't see a mechanism to publish this type of relationship at the service level.

So, here is my question: How do I define and publish computer-readable operation-to-operation relationships using a standardized metadata description language (like WSDL, or other)? Email me: jschneider at momentumsoftware dot com

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