Distributed computing using SOAP. What about speed ?

Cameron Laird claird at starbase.neosoft.com
Wed Jul 25 15:06:22 EDT 2001

In article <LBA77.58$bXi.175168000 at news.telia.no>,
Thomas Weholt <thomas at gatsoft.no> wrote:
>( In relation to my previous post about user authentication using SOAP, I
>got another simple question. )
>Does anybody have any thoughts about SOAP, especially SOAPpy ( it looks very
>nice, simple to use ), and potential speed issues? I'm thinking of
>implementing a distributed system where nodes communicate using SOAP.
>There's a clear potential of much traffic among the nodes and I just
>wondered if SOAP is the right protocoll/technology for the job. In my
>project each node will register with a nodemaster ( holds info about running
>nodes, nothing else, will check for availability of registered nodes with a
>given interval too, remove dead ones from list ) and get a list of running
>nodes in return. It will then proceed to query these running nodes in a
>serial manner ( at least to begin with, maybe use a async. approach later )
>about information and parse the result.
>Is SOAP suitable for something like this? It seems like it would be very
>easy to get a system like this up and running. My goal is to make a
>distributed system ala Gnutella, with no central server, just a bunch of
>nodemasters and nodes. I'm interested in other users experience with SOAP,
>with focus on speed of communcation ( speed of network disregarded. I'm only
>interested in impact on speed caused by SOAP itself. ).
>It's also clear that some problems might occur cuz the BaseHTTPServer which
>is used for the most part, have performance issues. Perhaps implementing the
>server using asyncchat etc. would increase performance ?? Why aren't the
>modules allready implemented with these tools available in the standard
>python lib allready, if that's the case?
SOAP can be a pig.

I'm very fond of SOAP.  I use it a bunch, and look
forward to doing more.  It's gross, though, compared
to, say, CORBA (and my favorite is what this century
calls "T-spaces").

On the other hand, lots of people are using SOAP,
it'll get better, and, if performance annoys enough
capable people, someone will invent a reworked 
transport layer that solves these problems.

I summarize my answer:  design and implement your
project intelligently, and with SOAP.  If performance
turns out to be a problem--and you're unlikely to be
certain until it's *quite* a problem--be prepared to
move to a different technology.  As unsatisfying as I
imagine you find that answer, it's the best one I

Cameron Laird <claird at NeoSoft.com>
Business:  http://www.Phaseit.net
Personal:  http://starbase.neosoft.com/~claird/home.html

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