Visual Studio: Contract First Web Services Interoperability between Microsoft .NET and IBM WebSphere
I am presonally a big fan of contract first webservices development, but I don't think there are any good tools that support this form of development. At the end of day we should be able to define a contract that ensures interoporability, versioning and specifies the intent of the service (including the interface, all the business exceptions, usage model, etc.) and then eventually generate code from the contract. The challenge is to keep the contract and the code in sync, and this cannot happen without having some kind of an integrated tool along with a well defined change control process (change in this case is any change in the contract, theoritically the contract should not change, oh well the reality is that it does all the time). I have seem some tools which illustrate the concept with some very trivial examples, but I have not seen anything that can scale to the enterprise needs. While we wait for the industry to come up with some tools .... we should make sure that one person or a team of people with a good understanding of the business capability around the service should manage the contract.