Why UDDI Sucks

The registry landscape needs to change, insists MuleSource's Dan Diephouse in this interview about Web services. The unholy trinity of SOAP, WSDL and UDDI needs to go.

By Rich Levin
Thu, October 02, 2008

CIO — Last week I shared my interview with Eugene Curiana, Leapfrog Enterprises' Director of Systems Infrastructure. One look at his photo will tell you Curiana is not your typical suit. Ditto his approach to building a service-oriented architecture.

So I guess it should come as no surprise that some of the vendors with whom he associates are not cut from the pinstripe cloth, either. In fact, during the course of reporting his story, I took a briefing with Dave Rosenberg, the cofounder of MuleSource, whose Mule ESB plays a key role in Leapfrog's SOA.

As we chatted about the various dimensions of the SOA universe, Rosenberg made a bold assertion. He barked, "UDDI sucks!" I was struck. Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration, the open OASIS standard designed to provide a platform-independent global Web service registry—the key to allowing SOAs the world over share and connect services over the Internet—sucks!

Rather than go off-topic and squander the remainder of our briefing time, I asked Rosenberg if he would mind sharing his reasoning (and by extension, MuleSource's) with CIO.com's readers in another column. He agreed.

Dave passed the job of articulating MuleSource's position to SOA architect Dan Diephouse, project lead for Mule RESTpack and SOA Governance platform Mule Galaxy. Dan is also creator of the Xfire project, and co-founder of Apache CXF.

MuleSource's position on UDDI follows. But this isn't the end of the story. With MuleSource's permission, I shared this piece with the folks at Microsoft. Microsoft is one of the driving forces behind UDDI, which first debuted in 2000 (it's currently at v.3.x).

Separately, you can read the Microsoft counterpoint.

Meanwhile, here's MuleSource's Dan Diephouse articulating why UDDI sucks. I've made minor grammatical edits, but these are Diephouse's words.

"The registry landscape needs to change. The unholy trinity of SOAP, WSDL and UDDI needs to go. While registry vendors, such as Systinet, have pioneered a number of good ideas in the field, they have failed to meet the needs of enterprise integration projects today, because they are based on these technologies. One should be able to guess this just by seeing the limited adoption, low success rate and high price tags of these solutions. Mass adoption is just not in the cards.

"If we're to understand why this approach for registries has failed, we need to look to the bottom of the stack: SOAP/WSDL-based services. Over the last decade we've learned that they're tightly coupled—making distributed, anarchic change highly difficult.

"Yes, your enterprise is a bit anarchic. Business needs change rapidly. To keep up with these changes, IT scales and evolves rapidly. To do this, enterprises have been adopting a RESTful approach to building highly scalable services. RESTful architectural principles are the ones behind HTTP, and allowed the Web to scale and evolve at such a rapid pace.

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