Currently, one of my colleagues is working on a small assignment to investigate the possibilities of Microsoft Information Bridge Framework (IBF) when it comes to exposing web service functionality to end users. The main goal of this investigation is to determine if IBF is able to communicate with the web services that apply to our internally used reference architecture.
Personally I am not very impressed by IBF yet, but that’s probably because I know very little about this tool. What I do know is that Microsoft is positioning this tool as a key player in its “information worker” marketing strategy so it must be good! For me this tool is just another way to make sure the end user (or should I say Information Worker) continues using the Microsoft Office suite which is probably one of the most important products for Microsoft’s profit. Another thing I know is that many people (especially managersJ) see a lot of opportunities for this tool so we decided to give IBF a fair change.
Therefore my colleague was asked to test if IBF is capable in communicating with “secure” web services. In our case this means that IBF has to communicate with web services that use SOAP headers to support sending “user token” information. After some investigation it turned out that IBF cannot handle SOAP headers (or at least not populate the headers in a “flexible” way). Because I found this very hard to believe I did a quick search on the internet and all found was the capability of IBF to handle “transport layer” security. I noticed that there is very little information available on the internet related to IBF and security. In my opinion using SOAP headers is kind of straight forward when it comes to web services, but I might be wrong.
Is it true that IBF doesn’t support SOAP headers? If so, will this be supported in a next release? If not, IBF is definitely no option for us (at this moment).
If there is anybody out there that can point me to some more information about this, please let me know!