Microsoft's Indigo gets REST

Microsoft confirmed that it will accommodate the so-called REST style of XML development in its forthcoming Indigo software, the communications system being built into the Longhorn version of Windows.

Don Box, an architect of Indigo, said in a blog on Thursday that XML developers that favor the simplicity of REST will be well cared for once Indigo comes out next year.

"Indigo has supported REST from day one. As any true RESTafarian will tell you, REST is an architectural style, not a protocol," Box wrote.

Indigo is built around the so-called WS-Star collection of Web services specifications that provide reliability, security and transactions for Web services applications.

The authors of these advanced Web services specifications, such as Microsoft, IBM and other vendors, contend that they are required for building large-scale Web services applications.

But many people have eschewed the full protocol stack, calling it overkill and not worth learning. REST advocates use XML and HTTP protocols instead.

Tim Bray, a co-inventor of XML and chief technology officer in Sun's software group, famously called the Web services stack "bloated, opaque and insanely complex" and continues to rail against them.

Box on Thursday said that Microsoft's strategy is to support both styles of development: "Indigo is a big tent and needs to support a broad spectrum of users."

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