(Written while waiting for DB2 v. 8 to uninstall itself... )
Excellent post on almost-Web Services. I've been there, seen (and suffered) that. Using MQ Series is not a problem, I've done more with that than with SOAP (which tells you a bit about our market). But what is it about XML that inspires host developers with an insane urge to write their own XML parsers?
I've had messages going back where half the content was going to a system with a home-brewed XML parser that rejected XML-escape sequences like "&". We had to skip the built-in .NET serialisation, write our own pseudo-XML formatter and leave ampersands unescaped. We then discovered that the other half was going to a system with a real XML parser that naturally rejects unescaped ampersands. In the end we simply translated all "&" characters in user data into "+" signs.
( ...Oops - DB2 uninstall finally came back, and wants me to close firefox amongst other apps. Back to the grindstone.)