Web Services

Any new technology arrives with its share of “clunker” ideas and mistaken visions, or poorly planned projects, mixed in inextricably with the gems. Failure to understand the market for the best ideas results in failure to exploit their potential. Enterprises must know these markets to understand their vendors’ positioning, and how best to exploit the challenging but extremely promising Web services market.

RADgov understood that, among the greatest challenges facing enterprises is grasping the real promise of Web services – as opposed to the ideal foisted on them by hype that, even now, is beginning to deflate. As a result, the IT industry faces a challenge in understanding the pitfalls and benefits of Web services.

To help all interested parties better comprehend the system in which Web services are likely to succeed, we lay out the following six entry points for successful Web services:

  • Web Services Architecture
  • Web Services Creation
  • Web Services Provisioning
  • Web Services Brokering
  • Web Services Management
  • Web Services Consulting and Integration

Web Services Architecture

Web services build on the concept of distributed computing, as it evolved from Unix OLTP to distributed component architectures and to the Internet architecture. A complete Web services architecture will consist of three runtime environments:

  • A Service Provider: This could be an application server or any engine that hosts a service.
  • A Service Consumer: This could be another application, a portal, a Web browser or cell phone that presents the service to the ultimate consumer.
  • A Services Manager: This management platform would act as a management environment for coordinating services while they are being used.
  • But Web services architecture isn’t as simple as just a provider/consumer mode. It is the overriding theme surrounding the four platforms that dominate Web services. As such, Web services architecture is really only an “entry point” for those big enough to have some impact on service provision, service consumption, service production and service management.

Web Services Creation

Web services creation is a development cycle for services. Its success will be defined by the ability to coordinate development activities from process management through to testing and deployment of services. Important new Web services technologies, such as Logidex’s Web services understanding/Web services enablement technology, should aid developers in this process. In addition, Gartner’s forthcoming research on Web services production platforms and Web services tools will replace the former emphasis on the integrated service environment (ISE) as the primary metaphor for projects delivered to create Web services.

Web Services Provisioning

Web services provide a new opportunity for companies, and even individuals, to become suppliers of business services internally and over the Web.

Web Services Brokering

Brokering of preexisting Web services will provide a model for any enterprise that chooses to become an indirect supplier channel. For a fee, the Web services broker will connect users of a Web service with the provider of that service. Brokers will not create services, nor will they manage or host services. Instead, Web services brokers will focus on building a large supplier network and will mine that network to generate incremental revenue. The Web services broker will focus on aggregating an appropriate set of services and cataloging those services as a portfolio of offerings.

Web Services Management

The Web services network will catalyze efforts to build trading communities based on Web services. However, the key role for the Web services network will be in coordinating the management of Web services so that they provide a consistent level of quality.

Web services management will consist of two levels:

The Web services network, previously mentioned: These networks could be characterized as “value-added networks on steroids,” which use Web services standards and a service-oriented approach. It is intended to be a hosted service for coordinating the activities of partners in a collaborative value chain.
A product-level management platform, such as an application server with management facilities, or a product from a vendor such as Talking Blocks or Interkeel. Traditional electronic data interchange (EDI) companies; e-marketplace vendors and systems/network management players will also dominate in this space.
Web Services Consulting and Integration

Professional services will continue to be necessary in integration projects; Web services are no different. Service providers such as us, RADgov will typify the companies providing Web services consulting and integration.

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