The place I'm working at is trying to establish some ground rules, and the debate we're having now is local libraries vs web services for code reuse. Web services seem to be the popular pick in most companies, and that's what most of the developers here are leaning toward.
I just can't see how you can effectively use web services for any serious work. How can I safely execute multiple service calls if I can't use a transaction?
Let's say I have a cron job that grabs customers from our database who meet a certain condition that they need to be notified of. They are sent a fax, an email, and a ticket is created to track the issue internally. That is 3 different service calls that would happen for each customer in a for loop.
If an error occurs anywhere in there, it's possible that, for example, a fax and email is sent to the customer, but a ticket is not created. Or worse, this cron job could contain a bug on that causes it to fail at the same point every time, and it repeatedly emails the same customer. If the libraries were all local, everything could just be wrapped in a transaction, and none of that would happen. But we're using web services in this example.
Note that the email and fax methods actually insert the data into database-backed queue tables, which in turn are handled by a separate cron job process. So the calls to the "send email" and "send fax" service methods could be aborted side-effect free if needed.
An option is to put this entire chunk of code in the web service itself, so the web service itself would call the email, fax, and ticket creating methods in a transaction. But then we're creating a web service method just for the use of a transaction; there is no valid reason we would ever actually need to call this method from anywhere except this one cron script.
How would you generally handle this method?