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RE: Web services: Meet the new boss; same as the old boss ???

From: Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler) <RogerCutler@chevrontexaco.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2003 10:53:30 -0500
Message-ID: <7FCB5A9F010AAE419A79A54B44F3718E0313275F@bocnte2k3.boc.chevrontexaco.net>
To: "Champion, Mike" <Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com>, "Abbie Barbir" <abbieb@nortelnetworks.com>, www-ws-arch@w3.org
You know, Mike, I have never agreed with your fairly frequent assertions
that "Web services" is a marketting term.  I really don't know where you
get that.  To me Web services are a fairly well defined tool with a
reasonable domain of applicability.  I have seen some people that I
consider foolish making the usual "solves everything for everybody"
claims, but I find those quite ignorable.
IMO, the domain of applicability for WS's is centered on situations that
are inherently loosely coupled.  This may be because there are data or
work flows between different vendor systems, possibly on different
platforms, within an enterprise, or between different companies (or
people, I suppose, but I tend to look at Web services in terms of
businesses not people).  Situations that are more tightly coupled often
have more effective solutions, so why mess with Web services if there is
a better, cheaper way?  So if one concentrates on the loosely coupled
situations, interoperability is obviously a very heavy hitter.  Everyone
knows that.  But, as that article points out in a lot more detail than I
feel the urge to cover, after you cover strict interoperability there
are still issues of what I would loosely call logistics that remain.
The devil is in the details.  And then there is yet another level when
you start looking at the payloads.  Three or four years ago we, and I
think just about everybody, thought that things like invoices and price
quotes -- that is, documents involved with common business functions --
would fairly quickly get standardized in XML.  Although there have been
some (many) attempts along these lines, to my observation none has
really gotten widespread traction.  Quite possibly this is because there
has been no analogy in the business world to the IBM/Microsoft/BEA
collaboration that has driven a lot of the technical standards.  The
absence of such widely accepted document formats, however, is going to
be a very considerable barrier, in my view, to implementation of the
document-exchange style of Web services.  The RPC style, however, (and I
think I may mean that loosely, since I gather that there is some rather
technical issue that goes under this name) -- the RPC style, where you
define interfaces that are resolved over the Web, is not so dependent on
industry uptake of standardized document format and is ready for prime
time right now, particularly within the enterprise where the lack of a
complete suite of standards-based solutions involving security and
reliability is not such a big deal.  I believe that this article,
however, is mostly talking about unexpected barriers to large-scale
implementation of this RPC style of solution inside the enterprise.  I
may be wrong, but it seems to me that these barriers tend to be less in
the province of standards groups like the W3C and quite properly more in
that of people who think about business processes and the consulting
companies that help to define best practices.   I think that the
Management Subcommittee folk might disagree with me about that, but
perhaps such a discussion would surface something along the lines that
you are asking for.
Sorry I have produced such a lousy stream-of-consciousness response --
I'm actually kind of distracted at the moment and I probably didn't give
this the careful thought it deserves.
-----Original Message-----
From: Champion, Mike [mailto:Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, September 09, 2003 9:38 AM
To: Abbie Barbir; Champion, Mike; www-ws-arch@w3.org
Subject: RE: Web services: Meet the new boss; same as the old boss ???



	From: Abbie Barbir [mailto:abbieb@nortelnetworks.com] 
	Sent: Tuesday, September 09, 2003 6:43 AM
	To: Champion, Mike; www-ws-arch@w3.org
	Subject: RE: Web services: Meet the new boss; same as the old
boss ???

	It is part of the growing pain (life adoption cycle also) of any
new idea/concepts or technology.  

Right.  I'm wondering -- now that we think that we know what Web
services *are* -- if we need to say something about what they are not.
Maybe we ought to spend a couple of paragraphs setting expectations that
we will NOT talk about all the nonsense that the marketing folks
propagated a couple of years ago under the label "web services."
Received on Tuesday, 9 September 2003 11:55:46 UTC

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