About the Author

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Adam Trachtenberg is the Director of the LinkedIn Developer Network, where he oversees developer relations and marketing for the LinkedIn Platform. Before LinkedIn, Adam worked at eBay in platform product management and marketing. Even earlier, he co-founded Student.Com and TVGrid.com. Adam is the author of PHP Cookbook and Upgrading to PHP 5. He lives in San Francisco.

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How eBay Uses Metadata to Enhance Its Web Services

Alan Lewis has a great article up on XML.com on embedding meta-data inside WSDL files.

Since we rev our Web services API every two weeks, we run into versioning problems that aren’t well covered by existing practices. For example, we define a whole set of complexTypes, but those types can morph overtime and we want to maintain backwards compatibility whenever possible. Or, a piece of data may be mandatory in one call, but optional in another.

Seeking a standards-based solution, our documentation team turned to the appInfo element defined as part of XML Schema. It’s quite a nice idea, and also allows us to auto-generate reference documentation from the WSDL file itself. We’d love for other companies who encounter a similar problem to take a similar approach, so that we can pool resources.

If you’re interested, check out Alan’s piece.

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