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   RE: [xml-dev] MS thinks HTTP Needs Replacing???

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Leigh Dodds [mailto:ldodds@ingenta.com]
> But, I still don't understand the key driver for the web
> services initiative. 

In the corporate space. Below the line savings on systems
integration. Leveraging existing infrastructure (web) for existing
IT systems (your payroll software running on the machine in the
basement). Faster systems integration with lower probability of
project failure. Supposedly more flexibility and change resistance
(you won't have to throw it all away in 3 years; I'm still out on
this one). When you run the numbers on a typical EAI project, you
wonder what is scaring an organisation so much that it would ever
take on such risks wrt critical systems. At lesser ordinals the
same can be said for the lighter J2EE solutions. While middleware
wonks can criticise http+xml, and web wonks can criticise
http+xml+rpc, either way it's going to save companies boatloads of
cash in the next few years wrt to capital investment in IT systems
integration. The numbers are good enough that SMEs can expect to be
able to afford the web services variant of EAI or more to the
point, federated variants with their partners.

> Maybe these stockquote examples are simple helloWorld
> with a different 
> name, are a red herring, and the *real* requirement is for 
> automated, orchestrated 
> business processes across the 'net. Another kind of 
> 'web service'

Bang on. Web services can be expected to optimise existing business
processes, not enable new ones; they're not disruptive in that
sense (though they may be very disruptive if you're a systems
integrator). What will be a disruptive technology for business is
an alternative to the RPC approach with real teeth, or the adoption
of the kind of content languages and vocabularies that Len Bullard
has mentioned elsewhere in this thread.

> Here's a thought experiment. Lets say that Amazon decided to
> do away 
> its HTML user interface, and produce an XML one. (I read 
> somewhere they'd 
> turned a profit, so they must have some cash :). Exactly the 
> same site structure, 
> pages, facilities, etc. Just an XML interface. Is this a web
> service?   

Amazon already is a web service. It just doesn't have a very well
defined programmatic interface. Publishing an XML front would only
make it easier to program to. As your gedanken experiment
indicates, nothing fundamental has changed about Amazon or the way
it does business , with one exception: it's interesting to ask how
a brand like Amazon retains its marque if it becomes a library
component in someone else's application. Brand managers won't like
this very much.

Bill de hÓra

Version: PGP 7.0.4



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