XML-Based Messaging

By the 1990s the various distributed computing paradigms were feature-rich and slowly gaining widespread support. Distributed computing technologies such as CORBA and the various enterprise-class MOM systems became well supported by many vendors and several free software projects and were available for different programming languages and operating systems.

The world of distributed computing had, up to that point, consisted of several large factions such as Microsoft DCOM and CORBA, each adhering to its own particular protocols and each with its own preference for operating platforms. Interoperability between different distributed object platforms was difficult to achieve in a cost-effective manner. Most distributed object platforms were also complex and had steep learning curves. Most of them also required substantial development and administrative efforts.

Enterprises originally did not find these issues with the available distributed object computing platforms crippling. They decided to standardize on one particular platform so interoperability wasn't a problem. Technologies like MOM systems and software bridges also helped handle the cases where it was necessary to cross the divides.

The most significant issue with the old distributed computing systems was their sheer complexity. In an attempt to capture the largest market share, all the major players in the distributed computing systems industry apparently fixated on aggressively producing the most technologically advanced solutions, overlooking some of the priorities and compelling needs of the clients. While maybe 10 to 20 percent of the potential users could truly benefit from the broad range of services provided by these systems, most clients would happily trade that wealth of features for an easier technology that could simplify development and deployment.

The second problem was interoperability. With the dawn of the Internet, enterprises found themselves faced with demands for conducting business transactions over the Web. To realize the full vision of E-commerce, seamless B2B integration, and so on, it became clear that the old walls of distributed computing needed to come down.

The goal of XML-based messaging is to eliminate these complexity and interoperability issues with traditional distributed computing platforms. It attempts to do so by following the same model attributes as the other successful Internet standards: simplicity, flexibility, platform neutrality, and open text-based encoding.