The IT Strategy Letter
A digest of Doug Kaye's weblogs for the week ending June 14, 2002 (Subscribe)


Web Services Strategies
Web Hosting Strategies
Doug's Media Appearances
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Web Services Strategies

.NET? Not Yet. According to this story on, 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 PM   

Giga Stats. PC Magazine has published the pie-chart results of a Giga Information Group survey of IT execs. Highlights:

  • 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.
Posted Wednesday, June 12, 2002 8:54:25 AM  

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, 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 PM 

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 PM 

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.

  • 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.
[Sources: Phil Wainewright via Julian Bond]
Posted Saturday, June 08, 2002 1:02:22 PM 

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 PM   

TrustBridge 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 Loftesness]
Posted Thursday, June 06, 2002 7:25:04 AM  

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 PM   

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 PM 

Doug's Appearances


I'll be giving one more public presentation in San Francisco in June:

Software Development Forum E-Business SIG
June 18, 2002, San Francisco

You can hear my interview from May 18, 2002, on the WebTalkGuys Radio Show using RealAudio or WinMedia.

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"...essential reading for anyone seeking to deploy this technology."

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"Out of the Box"


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