Scott Hanselman

InfoPath supports only Document Literal - That's not lame at all!

April 6, '03 Comments [3] Posted in Web Services | XML | Tools
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Astoundingly lame: InfoPath 2003 has become the first alleged Web Services tool I've worked with that can't consume Cape Clear's Airport Weather Web Service. Point InfoPath at http://live.capescience.com/wsdl/AirportWeather.wsdl and what you get back is "InfoPath cannot work with this Web Service because it uses RPC encoding. Only document literal encoding is supported." So much for the wide support of XML standards they're always promising. [Larkware]

Mike thinks that InfoPath is lame since it can't do RPC Enc.  I submit that creating a forms/document-centric view of an RPC endpoint would be icky at best.  Since InfoPath (and Microsoft and others) see the world of XML messaging as a document-centric one, it makes sence that this new forms creation tool would only speak Doc Lit.  Frankly, I'd have been disappointed if it DID support RPC encoding.  If it did, wouldn't it be a development tool?

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Monday, April 07, 2003 2:05:55 AM UTC
FWIW, WS-I and WSDL/1.2 have both abandond use="encoded" in WSDL.

Monday, April 07, 2003 3:23:53 AM UTC
Well, you know...I can point .NET WebService Studio, or Visual Studio .NET, or XMLSPY at that wsdl, and get simple UI that I can use to submit requests and get back results. Do we really think the target audience for this tool is going to care which style of encoding the XML uses? I suspect it far more likely that people will try to use InfoPath with a bare knowledge of Web Services, and they're not going to understand these distinctions, or thee changing standards. They're just going to see a tool that was promoted as a Web Service front end, and doesn't work.

Monday, April 07, 2003 3:35:29 AM UTC
I hear what you're saying Mike, but each of those tools you've decscribed are Developer Tools. I don't see (and think Microsoft doesn't see) Infopath as a Dev Tool...I see it as a rich client...and a thin one at that. I also don't think users of InfoPath will just pick random web services to point it at. I believe InfoPath will be part of a larger solution driven by documents, and driven by the Server Side (read: Developers)

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.