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    Web Services

    (April 12, 2002) - At this point, there is little question that "Web Services" represents the next generation of enterprise computing. The extremely interesting thing about the basket of goodies lumped together under this heading is that the major players (Oracle, Microsoft, Peoplesoft, Apple, AOL, SAP etc.) literally have no idea what to make of the emerging architecture. While typical industry committees,  like our own HRXML group, flounder on the ideas of institutionalizing existing forms of transactions, the market of small entrepreneurs is beginning to make real waves.

    We've admitted, in prior articles, that the whole arena is confusing and hard to explain. The situation is incredibly reminiscent of the early days of the web. Back then, industry leaders simply looked at the new technology, folded it into their existing assumptions and proceeded to miss the bet. The same thing is happening, at the policy levels, with Web Services. While there is powerful innovation brewing in little development companies, big players sit on the sideline scratching their heads (at best).

    Today's embryonic Web Services represent a turning point in computing. The shift is between a 'client-server' model and a truly service oriented view of computing. In the client-server view of the web, content, processes and solutions live in a centralized place (the server) and as such, are still routinely used to enforce a top-down view of the universe. Web services have characteristics that are more distributed, allowing the utility of computing to flow from users rather than flowing from suppliers.

    Have you ever received really good service? Generally, it is the precise opposite of the experience of using computing in today's world. Where usability is an afterthought in today's design, it is the fundamental premise in a service world. Until now, computing required that you and I learn someone else's world view in order to get our work done.

    Good service (sorely missing in most aspects of our lives) involves anticipation on the part of the person or organization providing the service. The 'servant' aspect of service, lost in a sea of political correctness and technical expertise, has the possibility of renewal in the emerging universe of web services. In other words, Web Services are tools for users and not tools for standardization by big companies.

    We've found a very useful white paper provided by the "StencilGroup" on the subject of Web Services. It's the best we've seen so far and merits 15 minutes of your time. It's bias is still big-company-ish. It will take some time for the more radical aspects of Web Services to become clearly articulated. But, it's a useful look at the next wave of technology that will rearrange our universe.

    - John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.


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    Copyright © 2013 interbiznet. All rights reserved.
    Materials written by John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
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