No not your dog, I’m talking about a program that processes received email messages. Mail eaters often solve integration problems between programs. You setup an account to receive an email from program A only to process the contents and pump the data into program B. This is all well and good except for one thing… the disconnect. Say your mail eater goes down for days, sure maybe you still have all the emails from program A but program B has been deprived of data. Program A needs a way to verify that the message has been processed.
Program A needs a response code to verify that program B finished processing the message. Unless you have dueling mail eaters this verification is never done. A more effective way to perform this integration was asked for and web services were the response. A web service is simple a function or set of functions that you can call from code just as if it were in your own application.
A problem with the solution?
But what if program B gets caught in a loop? Now you have two programs down and not just one. I have actually experienced someone claiming this is a problem and purposed program A should not wait for the response code. What a croc, and the perfect way to send us back to the 90s.