I agree this is not what webservices were intended to do. I didn't have realistic test data when I set this up. We got into production and saw requests 100x larger than in my test data. My initial assessment was that switching to a polling solution brought little practical benefit (polling hundreds of times vs waiting for the HTTP response).

I don't follow what you're saying about the http response.
The external service runs in-house on a Windows server. It is compute-intensive and performance is proportional to the size/complexity of the request.

That sounds like what they had in mind.

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