Can C/C++ ''do'' Web services?

Developers working with J2EE and .NET technologies are swimming in a veritable flood of tools for creating Web services. Yet the majority of core enterprise applications are written in C, C++ or COBOL. Many of the world's critical performance-oriented apps are written in C++, but for developers called upon to expose the functionality of those applications as Web services, the tools gush has been more of a trickle.

Component specialist Rogue Wave Software added to the flow last week with Version 1.2 of its Lightweight Enterprise Integration Framework (LEIF). First announced in February, LEIF is designed to allow developers to integrate existing or new C++ client and server applications with .NET and J2EE applications and Web services.

''This new release should facilitate the adoption of Web services and XML by companies with large investments in C/C++,'' said Rogue Wave Senior Product Manager Tim Triemstra in a statement. ''Many companies that fit this profile understand the promise of Web services, but have delayed adoption of this technology because of the perceived difficulty of working with Web services in C/C++.''

Although it is a high-performance language, C++ is a ''compile time'' language, which makes it difficult to map C++ with dynamic systems like Web services. LEIF 1.2 is a framework and set of wizards designed to enable C++ interaction with J2EE and .NET within the enterprise, as well as to customers or partners. LEIF provides solutions based on standards such as HTTP (client and server), SOAP, WSDL and XML. And it is designed to provide support for a broad range of operating systems and C++ compilers from vendors such as Microsoft, Red Hat, SuSE, Intel, Sun Microsystems, IBM and Hewlett-Packard, Triemstra said.

Key enhancements in LEIF 1.2 include a GUI Project Wizard, so-called Pluggable Protocols that allow developers to write and use transports other than the default HTTP, and XML document validation. Also on tap: improved fault support for better error handling and support for SOAP faults.

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About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at john@watersworks.com.

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