Web Services Strategies
.NET? Not Yet. According to this story on SearchWebServices.com, less than 10% of 950 respondents said they understand Microsoft's .NET initiative. That's 855 people who should buy and read David Chappell's book, Understanding .NET: A Tutorial and Analysis.
Posted Wednesday, June 05, 2002 8:27:30
Giga Stats. PC Magazine has published the pie-chart results of a Giga Information Group survey of IT execs. Highlights:
Posted Wednesday, June 12, 2002 8:54:25
- Only 1% have achieved "full integration." 76% are still in research, investigation or prototyping.
- 28% are thinking external versus 71% internal.
- 39% see "business value/profitability" as the biggest challenge facing their web-service strategy. 32% say it's the limitations of technology and standards.
- 89% say that either their current main application or tool vendor will be central to their strategies. Only 3% see a dedicated web-services vendor as the key.
More on UDDI. As part of my
research for the new book, I had an excuse to call Mike Clark,
a senior analyst with Lucin in Wales, and learn more about SalCentral
and their work with UDDI. SalCentral wants to be a broker (publisher
or distributor) for web services. The site currently lists ~350
web services that are available for public use. All of the web
services listed on the site use SOAP and have WSDL files. Some
use the SOAP RPC model and others use the "doc" model, which according
to Mike, is the greatest single cause of their support calls.
(Many SOAP toolkits such as SOAP::Lite are RPC-only, whereas .NET
uses the doc model.)
Mike has an interesting perspective on the recent criticisms
of UDDI. Last December, in an article
on WebServicesArchitect.com, he wrote, "I believe that currently
UDDI has been misinterpreted as a one-stop shop (similar to a
web search engine) for finding, selecting, and keeping track of
Web Services and suppliers."
UDDI has been criticized for containing all the junk that anyone
wants to list there. Mike's point is that this is like criticizing
the Internet because it allows anyone to publish anything. Talking
to Mike, I had one of those Aha! moments. The problem is that
we've visualized UDDI at the wrong point in the protocol stack.
It's not the equivalent of a Google; it's the equivalent of the
Web. UDDI is the "place" where anyone can post structured
references to anything. This is as opposed to unstructured
information on the Web. As with the Web, there's another layer
of value-added services that will organize, rank and otherwise
make sense of this data. It's Google on the Web. It will be services
like SalCentral for UDDI.
SalCentral has been testing a new in-house tool that crawls UDDI the same way Google crawls the Web. Mike says they've found ~250 valid web services in UDDI, or 42% of those that claim to be there. Many more cool things to come from Lucin and SalCentral. Stay tuned.
Posted Tuesday, June 11, 2002 12:42:18
Steve Gillmor at Gartner. The InfoWorld columnist's perspective on web services after attending the Gartner Symposium ITxpo in San Diego last week. "It's no longer a question of whether, but how long, with Web services. The exponential momentum that XML infrastructure enables is already reaching critical mass." [Source: Brent Sleeper]
Posted Wednesday, June 12, 2002 9:10:40
The Blue Paper is a 24-page (PDF) Deloitte & Touche report on web services. I agree with Phil Wainewright that the listing of 42 private companies to watch is thorough, but my impression from the body of the report is that D&T have been sucked into the hype and don't really understand what's going on.
[Sources: Phil Wainewright via Julian Bond]
- They forecast the conventional-wisdom steady evolution of
(1) behind the firewall, then (2) outside the firewall, followed
by (3) application marketplaces. Yet in every one of their four
examples of web-services early adopters (Dell Computer, Nordstrom,
Chanel and Merrill Lynch), the companies are connecting to customers
or suppliers. [Listen to John Hagel: Smart companies know the
real benefit comes from external web services. D&T: You've at
least got to use examples that support your own forecasts. Or
get the forecast right.]
- Someone--perhaps not the authors--wins the award for the worst analogies ever used to explain the web-services protocol stack: XML=Car, SOAP=Freeway, WSDL=License Plate, UDDI=Road Map. Huh?
- D&T miss the point of what they call Phase 3--Application
Marketplaces, which they suggest will fail because companies
won't share application code with one another. Doh! The whole
point of web services is that you don't have to be running the
same code, only supporting the same highly standardized interfaces.
Uclear on the concept.
Posted Saturday, June 08, 2002 1:02:22
Reading List. Mike Tarrani, who seems to read everything, posted his annotated list of books and on-line resources for web services.
Posted Monday, June 10, 2002 5:33:18
is Microsoft's new codename for the Windows technology that will
enable businesses to share user identity information between applications
and organizations. Scheduled for an initial release sometime in
2003, TrustBridge technology will allow different organizations
using the Windows operating system to exchange user identities
and interoperate in heterogeneous environments using industry-standard
XML Web services protocols including Kerberos, WS-Security and
forthcoming protocols in the WS-Security family. [Source: Scott
Posted Thursday, June 06, 2002 7:25:04
Web Hosting Strategies
Web Services Invade Hosting.
I was asked to write a short article about the impact of web services
on the web-hosting industry for Internet World. It should appear
in the hardcopy edition in 2-3 weeks. I called executives at a
number of colo vendors, MSPs and CDNs to hear what they had to
say on the topic. Overall, the responses were what you might expect:
MSPs are waiting until it's a tried-and-true technology, colos
are using web services internally, and CDNs are working quickly
to provide web services at the edge.
But the most interesting conversation was today with Dev Mukherjee,
IBM Global Services' VP for Strategy for E-Business Hosting. Beyond
the original topic of web services and the hosting business, our
conversation got me thinking about the entire picture for web-services
deployment and which vendors are positioned to exploit the opportunities.
Long-time readers know that I think Microsoft is remarkably well
positioned, particularly in the small-to-medium business (SMB)
market. But who else, and how will it play out? Here's one scenario.
We all know what happened to the ASP model. It died a death
that we all understand with our perfect hindsight. Let's see,
I'm going to pay a company of questionable experience and financial
stability to manage an application they didn't develop and probably
know less about that my in-house staff. No, I don't think so.
So how is IBM's vision for E-Business on Demand different
from the ASP model? First, it's IBM, not some fly-by-night ASP.
Second, they're the only vendor I can think of with extensive
experience in all four required areas: (1) Internet infrastructure
[~175 data centers], (2) managed services, (3) web-service aware
professional services, and (4) access to the developer community
via web-services toolkits. Even Microsoft only has #4. The top
MSPs only have #1 and #2. I've got a lot more head scratching
to do on this, and I'm sure I'll hear some dissenting opinions
from you (don't be shy), but after a few hours of thinking about
it, I believe IBM is in a uniquely strong position.
Posted Thursday, June 13, 2002 6:46:38
Have It Your Way or Theirs? My latest guest commentary on Internet World: all about MSP flexibility.
Posted Monday, June 10, 2002 5:40:44
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