Reality strikes as Web services settle in for long haul

While it's virtually unanimous that Web services will be an important factor going forward, some of the hype is beginning to die down as reality kicks in.

Web services, which are essentially a new class of applications that can talk and work with one another over the Internet, have been touted as the next big thing by a plethora of big names. Microsoft, as a prime example, is wagering its whole .Net strategy on the success of Web services.

However, some people, such as Paul Marriott, local business development manager for Oracle's 9i platform, believes the move to Web services is merely an evolutionary step, rather than a revolutionary leap.

"Web services are not the be-all and end-all of application development," he said. "If you want to integrate sophisticated business processes across multiple applications, Web services are just a small part of that. It's an important part, but only a small part of the bigger picture."

Marriott believes that some groups have been perpetuating a myth of Web services being a 'revolution', promoting them as a kind of panacea of integration and application development. Instead, Marriott believes the bigger picture of delivering software as a service extends far beyond what Web services does.

"Web services is very important, and it's a great way of enhancing applications to provide access to simple business logic in a very effective way. However, if you want to truly run an accounting application or a customer management system on a hosted environment to hundreds of thousands of users, with scalability and 24x7 availability, Web services isn't the only thing you need to do. You need a sound foundation to build them on," he said.

However, Web services still has its disciples. Ken Burrows, managing director of Software AG, believes that Web services will be 'huge'. In addition, Burrows believes that the role of IT will change in response to Web services.

"I think you'll find that traditional IT -- where people build systems from scratch -- is probably going to disappear to a large degree and be replaced by a component assembly," he said, adding that the characteristics of IT people will also change.

"They'll have to have a better understanding of the processes rather than real technical skills, the reason being that the main emphasis will be identifying what components will satisfy the business need, rather than building them from scratch," he said.

However, Marriott believes that the role of applications developers will remain unchanged in the face of Web services.

"To write a Web service, a developer still writes code, and defines a standard interface by which you access that code. If that code changes, the applications that access it may have to change as well," he said.

"There will still be the full software lifecycle of developing the code, testing it, deploying it, and then maintaining it, so this idea of developers just putting the thing together is a nice idea, but the reality is they still require the same maintenance that any custom-built application needs."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ronda Field

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?