The IT Strategy Letter
May 9, 2003 (Subscribe)

Bookwatch: Loosely Coupled--The Missing Pieces of Web Services is still new and therefore somewhat hard to find. (The official publication date isn't until August.) In some cases, vendors can't keep it in stock. (We like that case.) In other cases there are just gaps in the distribution infrastructure. Here are some tips as of today:

  • NerdBooks: US$27.19 and in stock. Best price we've seen for U.S. orders.
  • $31.99, ships in 2-3 days.
  • DigitalGuru: US$31.99, quotes 5-7 days.
  • Now says "Not yet released." They were offering US$27.99,
    but quoted up to 5 weeks to ship.
  • Not in stock yet.
  • CAN$39.73 (30% discount), ships in 4-6 weeks
  • RDS Press: US$39.99, direct from us, ships within 24 hours.
    (Not the cheapest, but the best source for fast or non-US delivery.)

Review of the Week:

"Here's a very good book on Web services for architects and decision makers. No code, but programmers will want to read it also. Kudos to Doug Kaye."

--James Snell, IBM, co-author of Programming Web Services with SOAP

CNET Radio Direct on Web Services. For five days during the week of May 19, CNET will deliver programs about web services via streaming audio. They're looking for case studies. Tell 'em I sent you.
Posted Thursday, May 08, 2003 4:57:26 PM

A Web Services Manifesto. Phil Windley gave this talk to "a bunch of Federal CIOs with a few people from state and local government thrown in."
Posted Tuesday, May 06, 2003 2:29:34 PM

Web Services Reference Collection. IBM's developerWorks website has published a "reference collection" of 100 articles that cover a full range of web services topics, including: what web services are, why use web services, case studies, web service design, messaging/SOAP, WSDL (Web Services Description Language), UDDI (Universal Description Discovery and Integration), SRP (Service Registry Proxy), security, reliability, transactions, user interfaces, and more. [Source:]
Posted Tuesday, April 29, 2003 11:41:36 AM

Writing Applications in PowerPoint? According to Carroll Pleasant of web services early adopter Eastman Chemical, using development tools from NextAxiom is "the closest thing to a Powerpoint-to-VB compiler that you're ever going to see." The quote comes from a good, detailed case study by Eric Parizo at searchWebServices. [Source: Phil Wainewright]
Posted Thursday, May 08, 2003 3:36:07 PM

Also from Phil...

InfoPath and the Chasm. "But what Moore couldn't have forseen back in 1991--and Microsoft's present-day strategists haven't recognized--is that in today's networked world, a visionary doesn't need the existing infrastructure of a large enterprise to impose adoption...As Jon [Udell] notes, 'The most vibrant XML applications today are coming from the grassroots up.'"

Some very interesting points in Phil's essay, although I don't agree that the grass-roots phenomenon somehow invalidates Moore's chasm concept. After all, Microsoft has rarely been an innovator or early adopter themselves. The company almost always waits until someone else invests in getting a new idea as close to the chasm as possible. In the case of the Internet, Microsoft admits they waited too long. It crossed the chasm without them.
Posted Thursday, May 08, 2003 3:53:52 PM

Debuzzifying On Demand (OD). In the latest ZapFlash, Jason Bloomberg explains the pieces of OD, what the vendors are doing in the world of OD, and how OD is tied to service-oriented architectures. [Source: ZapThink]
Posted Thursday, May 08, 2003 5:18:23 PM

The Digital ID Federation Myth. Erick Herring wrote back in January, "The Digital ID federation concept sounds attractive, but doesn't include the customers, whose voice and stake in the game are like American Indians in post-Civil War America. Just because the federation issues get ironed out doesn't mean they'll do us any good." This has been my gripe with The Liberty Alliance (and others) since publishing my original essay last October. The Liberty Alliance specifications look pretty good from a technical perspective. But I take issue that the organization and its members are pitching this as a benefit to consumers. That's pure spin, and I wish they'd admit it. Outside the corporate firewall (i.e., when used for public web sites) the primary beneficiaries of federated identity are the merchants, *not* consumers. Indeed, I assert that for consumers, the risks outweigh the benefits. The technology is great, but let's tell it like it is.
Posted Tuesday, April 29, 2003 5:55:07 PM

For example...

Microsoft Admits Passport Breach. The important issue here isn't this particular incident, but rather the inherent risk of *any* system that stores or shares identity data. No matter what the vendors tell you, your personal data will never be as safe with them as it is under your own control, so long as you use best practices. Federated identity isn't about benefits for consumers. It's all about merchant revenues. [Source: Allen Weinberg, Glenbrook Partners]
Posted Thursday, May 08, 2003 4:41:10 PM


Liberty vs. Passport at RSA. "The recent RSA 2003 Conference revealed that the Liberty vs. Passport clash has more to it than Sun trying to put one over on Microsoft...It seems that Liberty might be moving in the right direction but is no better than Passport (or TrustBridge) and is still very light on the policy definition side." [Source: John McIntosh,, special to]
Posted Monday, May 05, 2003 10:38:04 PM

Web Services: The Next Big Lie? "Web services is the next big lie in CRM. It makes integration simpler, but not simple; there is still a lot of programming involved." --Zach Nelson, president and CEO, NetLedger

"The intersection of CRM and Web services is the one thing businesses have to be looking at right now." --Chris Selland, president, Reservoir Partners [Source:]
Posted Wednesday, April 30, 2003 10:50:12 PM

Credit Card Micropayments. Jonathan 'Wolf' Rentzsch has analyzed the economics of Apple's iTunes music service. It's based on aggregation of multiple small purchases within a window of time. [Source: Scott Loftesness]
Posted Thursday, May 08, 2003 10:24:19 PM

The Semantic Web Will Be Loosely Coupled. "The Semantic Web will advance the relational database model and overturn old ways of organizing information, Berners-Lee said. Rather than listing information in tree structures, it will create a Web based on the relationships of people, places and things as they exist in the real world...The Semantic Web doesn't follow a document model; instead, it models real-world things, said the director of the W3C and inventor of the World Wide Web." [Source:]
Posted Thursday, May 08, 2003 5:38:18 PM

Web Hosts Run Windows Server 2003. Some shared-hosting providers who were part of the Windows Server 2003 beta program were prepared to run part of their sites on Windows Server 2003 prior to launch. The three providers with the largest number of active sites on Windows Server 2003 are all Microsoft Certified Partners while the fourth largest is Microsoft itself. No one else had more than 1000 active sites running on Windows Server 2003 at the start of May.

Top Microsoft Windows Server 2003
hosting companies by Active sites, May 2003
CompanyActive Sites
[Source: Netcraft]
Posted Tuesday, May 06, 2003 7:37:34 AM

META Group on Managed Hosting. "META Group Inc. ( announced the availability of its newest METAspecturm evaluation for the managed web hosting outsourcing market...In terms of focus, the report emphasizes the fully managed segment and is restricted geographically to the North American operations of 11 vendors: AT&T (, BellSouth (, Cable & Wireless (, Conxion (, Digex (, EDS (, Genuity (, IBM (, Qwest (, Sprint (, and Verio (" [Source: The Web Host Industry Review]
Posted Wednesday, April 30, 2003 11:11:41 PM

Must Be Present to Win. In my latest column for Web Hosting Monthly, I offer my advice to owners of small web-hosting firms on how to finance their companies. (Based on personal experience.)
Posted Monday, May 05, 2003 9:26:57 PM

Achieving Hosting Success: Stay in Touch. And in my latest column for The Web Host Industry Review, I explain to vendors the importance of my ENC (Expect Next Communications) Rule for customer satisfaction. It's not just for hosting; I think it applies universally.
Posted Thursday, May 08, 2003 4:51:53 PM

WiFi Wants to Be Free. Pay-per-use WiFi in Starbucks, hotels, and airports won't last. At least that's my personal prediction, and I'm sticking to it. Do you use any of these services? I don't. I can certainly wait until I get where I'm going. OTOH, if I find a WiFi hotspot, I use it. And if I know of a coffee house that has one, I'm likely to head there for a latte and to check my email. One reason I expect to see free WiFi succeed is that it's a simple and low-cost decision for small businesses. Most bars have TVs, and their costs are comparable to that of providing a WiFi hot spot. It's hard to imagine a bar charging for the "use" of their television. [Source: Scott Mace]
Posted Thursday, May 08, 2003 3:26:24 PM

Doug's Recent Appearances and Webcasts

Loosely Coupled: Interoperability for Business Agility. (Webcast) Recorded 4/30/03 with John McDowall, CTO of Grand Central Communications.


Web Services Project Strategies. (Webcast) Recorded 4/21/03 with Brent Sheets at

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The IT Strategy Letter is published weekly by RDS Strategies LLC. Much--but not all--of the content is published earlier in Doug Kaye's weblogs.


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

--John Hagel, III,
management consultant
and author of
"Out of the Box"


Read More Reviews of Loosely Coupled