The IT Strategy Letter
A digest of Doug Kaye's weblogs for the week ending July 16, 2002 (Subscribe)


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

Liberty Alliance Publishes 1.0 Spec. The long-awaited single sign-on specs are available for download. The Overview document looks interesting. More thoughts next week, after I've had a chance to read the PDFs. In the meantime, I'm certain there will be many opinions to read. First out of the blocks: Peter Drayton.
Posted Monday, July 15, 2002 1:02:51 PM  

Web Services Reality Check: A Roundtable Discussion. I've been invited to moderate this panel at the Internet World Fall 2002 conference, October 2, in New York City. So far, as panelists, we've lined up Annrai O'Toole (Executive Chairman, Cape Clear) and Patrick Grady (CEO, Talaris). Others TBA. See you there!
Posted Monday, July 15, 2002 10:06:05 AM  

Stored Procedures: A Web-Services Goldmine. Jon Udell discovered the treasures of corporate assets locked up in database stored procedures. In the past, developers used stored procedures only as required for performance or other reasons, knowing they were creating something implicitly non-portable. (OTOH, do many Oracle PL/SQL developers really care if their code runs on Microsoft's SQL Server?) But with web-services wrappers, suddenly stored procedures become available to any application, internal or external. This approach can yield improved performance while enhancing security. And think of the thousands of stored procedures that are already coded, waiting to be wrapped. Yum.
Posted Thursday, July 11, 2002 1:27:49 PM   

Strategic vs. Tactical Web Services. Strategic web services projects are complex and costly enough to require a plan, whereas you can just dive in and get started with tactical projects, learning as you go. How can you tell if a web service is strategic or tactical? Try this decision flowchart. (And let me know how it works for you.)

Complex web services include those that are asynchronous or aggregated (i.e., built on top of other web services). Commercial-grade services are those with requirements for robust deployment (24/7, scalability, etc.) External web services are those that communicate with separate organizations, beyond the firewall.

For example, consider the task of implementing a client to a FedEx package-tracking web service. Such a client would be neither complex nor (at least for most businesses) commercial grade. It's an external web service, but the client has only one business partner: FedEx. The task therefore qualifies as tactical. Now consider the same web service, but from FedEx's perspective. It's not complex, but it is commercial grade, so it's clearly a strategic web service. It would also qualify as strategic on the basis that it's an external web service for which the company has multiple business partners.

Tactical and strategic web service projects must be approached quite differently from one another. Each type requires a very different plan and timetable. [An edited excerpt from my forthcoming book, Web Services: Strategies For the Real World.]
Posted Sunday, July 07, 2002 7:09:42 PM   

Understanding Web Services. I just took a break from writing my own book to catch up on my web-services reading. Although I previous did a quick read-through of Eric Newcomer's Understanding Web Services, I finally read it thoroughly. It was even better the second time. Definitely, the best introduction to the topic. And tonight it's #319 on Amazon. Well done, Eric.
Posted Thursday, July 11, 2002 11:54:06 PM   

Ellison on the Hype. "The idea that Oracle is going to put a web services interface on its applications, and [that] Siebel is going to do that, and that that's going to make it easier for you to connect Oracle to SAP, or Siebel to SAP, that's just the most ridiculous thing I've heard in my entire life."

Web services will make it easier to link these packages, Larry, but it won't be nearly as simple as others would have us believe. Read Ellison's other comments at the end of this article on [Source:]
Posted Thursday, July 04, 2002 9:45:27 AM 

Web Hosting Strategies

Web Hosting's Adolescence. My latest column for The Web Host Industry Review. "The web-hosting industry is less than ten years old, but some vendors are already acting like teenagers...Increasingly, we're going to see web-hosting vendors focus on what they do best and chief executives with backgrounds more aligned with the appropriate cultures. Web hosting is growing up."
Posted Friday, July 05, 2002 9:57:31 AM  

MSPs Shift to Software. InfoWorld's Brian Fonseca writes about the trend of MSPs to abandon the service business and morph into software companies. "The systems integrators are the one who are going to win this," according to Andrew Schroepfer of Tier 1 Research.
Posted Thursday, July 11, 2002 1:18:12 PM   

My First Book Is Available On Line. I accidentally discovered that you can read my first book (Strategies for Web Hosting and Managed Services) on line at CNet's books24x7. (The publisher doesn't tell me about things like this.) If you sign up for a free trial subscription, you can read the whole thing, but alternating paragraphs have been converted to "xxxx"s. It looks like all (150 or so) of the figures are visible, converted to JPEGs. An annual subscription to books24x7 costs $299, for which you get access to all of the books in their catalog. It's not a bad way to preview the book, but for only $27.99, you can get the real thing from Amazon. Interesting that someone thought it would be worthwhile to convert all 375 pages to HTML and JPEGs.
Posted Sunday, July 14, 2002 12:08:04 AM   

Doug's Appearances

Web Services Reality Check: A Roundtable Discussion
Internet World Fall 2002
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York City
October 2, 2002

Hear from a variety of web-service vendors and their customers as they discuss how web services will change the way we do business forever. Discuss the benefits of online services including fast ROI, low TCO, no software implementation or maintenance costs, updates and upgrades in real-time, increase in employee productivity and the pros and cons of Web service products.

Moderator: Doug Kaye, RDS
Panelists: Annrai O'Toole, Executive Chairman, Cape Clear; Patrick Grady, CEO, Talaris; others TBA

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