DataFlex provides support for web services and service oriented architectures (SOA) in two forms:
- Publishing server-side web services for use by others (or other applications)
- Subscribing to web services published by others in DataFlex client or service applications
On the server side, a published DataFlex web service can be accessed by any application on any computing device that can access a standards-based web service, regardless of the location or particular technology of the accessing entity (Java, .Net, DataFlex, etc.). A PC workstation, a Macintosh, a Unix computer, a cell phone or an intelligent vending machine could all access and utilize web services created with DataFlex.
On the client side, a DataFlex application can use or “subscribe” to any standards-based web service published and accessible across the Internet regardless of the location or particular technology used to implement the published service (Java, .Net, DataFlex, etc.). The DataFlex application subscribing to a published web service could be of three types: a Windows desktop application, a browser based application running on Web Application Server or a web service. Any of the three could use a published web service to fulfill its own functional application requirements.
Objectives & Implementation
One of the primary design goals of web services in DataFlex was simplicity for the developer. A DataFlex developer should be able to create and/or use web services without needing to understand all of the underlying complexities that make them work. If a developer can design the application logic, DataFlex will automate the process of creating a publishable web service from it. DataFlex offers a very high level of efficiency for application development because the core logic of an application is common to all forms of solution: Windows programs, interactive (browser-based) web applications and published web services. If a developer needs the functionality of a web service in a solution, DataFlex will automate the process of locating, wrapping and integrating it into the host application.
To facilitate learning and productivity, DataFlex includes several web service example applications. Interactive testing facilities are built into Studio to validate services built with or accessed by the system. This can all be done without needing to deal with the underlying web services protocols or technology or any other development environment.