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SOAP and WebServices is a fad?

Michael Finney
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Joined: Jan 25, 1999
Posts: 508
I heard from someone at a well respected company (name witheld) that Web Services and SOAP is just a fad, but they will support it just in case.
It is way too early to tell what will become of Web Services and SOAP isn't it?
Michael


Michael Finney - "Always Striving To Serve You Better Every Day"
http://www.smilingsoftwaresolutions.com/
William Brogden
Author and all-around good cowpoke
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Joined: Mar 22, 2000
Posts: 12769
    
    5
A lot of people seem to have invested a lot of money in the web services idea - especially Microsoft. You will also find quite a few nay-sayers on both XML and SOAP. As to where we will be in 2 years time - I have not got the faintest idea (but if it uses Java I will probably be writing a book about it.)
Ajith Kallambella
Sheriff

Joined: Mar 17, 2000
Posts: 5782
Although it is quite early to say where WebServices/SOAP is going, the term "fad" may be a little too far-fetched.
IMO WebServices is here to stay, at least as an integrating technology that enables enterprises to connect their domain islands. With this facade-like utility value it promises to offer, I can foresee WebServices lingering in application integration industry even if it fails to meet the expectations( and hype ) in other places.


Open Group Certified Distinguished IT Architect. Open Group Certified Master IT Architect. Sun Certified Architect (SCEA).
Conrad D'Cruz
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 22, 2002
Posts: 14
Originally posted by Michael Finney:
I heard from someone at a well respected company (name witheld) that Web Services and SOAP is just a fad, but they will support it just in case.
It is way too early to tell what will become of Web Services and SOAP isn't it?
Michael

True it is just a fad .. but so were bell bottoms
and tie dies in the 60's and look what happened at that time :-)
There were nay sayers at the start of the
internet revolution and many who resisted
initially. Of course it also got out of
control with false promises and questionable
claims. However, many did catch the wave.
Some were swept to success, others floundered
for want of a real business strategy.
Too many big vendors have invested a lot over the
past several years and have bet the ranch :-)
on it's adoption.
Just the wave of information and the
marketing strategy will cause it to propogate. It will evolve over time to meet real business needs and applications. It behooves
the IT manager making the decisions to
very carefully evaluate the technologies and
how it fits into their integration plans.
If the make an honest appraisal of where
the technology is going and how will
evolve in their enterprise and satisfy "real"
business needs, I think it can add value
to most business processes. It should be
a staged deployment which will grow to
fit the needs but be realistically based on
what is available and what the technologies can and cannot do at any given time.
Conrad
Andy Rodriguez
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Joined: Oct 16, 2001
Posts: 95
I am not a skeptic - Are you still skeptical ?
http://www.line56.com/articles/default.asp?NewsID=3305


My ramblings @<br /> <a href="http://javarecon.tripod.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://javarecon.tripod.com</a>
Michael Finney
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 25, 1999
Posts: 508
That last paragraph of that article "The big 5" who are they?
Michael
Glenn Murray
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Joined: Dec 07, 2001
Posts: 74
Originally posted by Andy Rodriguez:
[QB]I am not a skeptic - Are you still skeptical ?
Web services as a business model? Let's see. Huge hype. Transactions, WSFL, and other technical issues still not worked out. Security hardly addressed, and the lawyers haven't begun to really chew on it.
You bet your ass I'm skeptical.


Glenn Murray
Author of Yo Soy Una Vaca De Hoy
Andy Rodriguez
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 16, 2001
Posts: 95
As a business model - probably not , i dont think its going to replace any of the existing EDI infrastructure either. But as an application integration facilitator i am certainly not skeptical.
Doug Wang
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Joined: Oct 05, 2001
Posts: 445
Originally posted by Andy Rodriguez:
As a business model - probably not , i dont think its going to replace any of the existing EDI infrastructure either. But as an application integration facilitator i am certainly not skeptical.

Hi, Andy
ebXML can be a successor of EDI. You could see my explanations in this thread and this thread. Although ebXML has a long run to mature, web services related tenologies such as SOAP, UDDI are promoting its maturity.
I guess SOAP programming covered by Bill's book is to dominate the future's programming.

Doug


Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep
Andy Rodriguez
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 16, 2001
Posts: 95
Sorry mate , ebXml's future is already kind of written on the wall ...
To quote "Ultimately, the main reason Rawlins expects a fate of failure for ebXML is because the specifications don’t cater to the small-to-medium sized business, which was the development team’s original intention. And furthermore, says Rawlins, the ebXML architectures lack the level of interoperability to provide long-term value."
ebXML was a innovative project , but not many people seem to think that it has a future :
http://www.esj.com/webservices/news/article.asp?EditorialsID=74

Originally posted by Doug Wang:

Hi, Andy
ebXML can be a successor of EDI. You could see my explanations in this thread and this thread. Although ebXML has a long run to mature, web services related tenologies such as SOAP, UDDI are promoting its maturity.
I guess SOAP programming covered by Bill's book is to dominate the future's programming.

Doug
Mike Monali
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 15, 2002
Posts: 4
Originally posted by Michael Finney:
That last paragraph of that article "The big 5" who are they?
Michael


Big 5 refers to the big consulting firms (a legacy from the accounting days) and is generally meant to include the following these days:
Accenture
PricewaterhouseCoopers
E&Y
Deloitte
KPMG
Roger Nelson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 21, 2002
Posts: 95
came across this, does it make sense?
Web services:
The web services promoted by microsoft requires a lot of collaborations from every end to be successful.
The various players collaborating to set it up would be:
1) Web services providers.
2) UDDI.org
3) Web services client.
For web services to be popular one has to figure out who will benefit from it and how beneficial is it so that they will adopt web services and spend financial resources behind it.
Some of the core areas where it would help a lot would be:
1) Any organization having data that gets used heavily by other organizations or individuals.
For eg: Whenever a car insurance company prepares an insurance policy for a customer, he may check the driver record or vehicle record information which may be available on different central server in the country or state.
Imagine the scene with web services, driver records and vehicle records are exposed as web services
An insurance representative opens a form and enters driver id and vehicled id, and submits it, he gets back the driver and vehicle record info from the web services.
2) Similarly, foreign exchange rates can be exposed as web service.
3) Stock market rates can be exposed as web services
And many similar things.
The difference with web services is that it provides a way of programmatic interaction while plain web sites displaying the information used to provide only manual interaction.
Looking at the concept behind web services, it’s the same thing what B2B applications does.
For example: If bank A wants to communicate to Bank B that a person P had made a money transfer from bank A to bank B, it was being done by a B2B application mutually set up between these organizations.
Thus inter bank transactions could take place without much manual intervention.
Similarly you can find B2B doing the same thing on online market places where businesses try to sell and buy stuff for the best price.
The differences what web services brings compared to B2B is that “web services” is based on open standards, like XML,SOAP,UDDI etc by which everyone will be on the same page while earlier B2B technologies uses proprietary stuff among the partners, or if it’s a online market space then everyone has to conform to the online market technologies.
How will web service help “Business to business “areas?
Lets assume that a company called ‘X” sells ready made clothes and wants to purchase raw material i.e. clothes from A mills, B mills, C mills. And all these mills have web services that expose the raw material and price info and these mills web services are registered at uddi.org.
So when a purchase officer at company “X” pulls up web based form and enters data for “purchasing 100 yards of polyester cloth” the data gets converted to xml format, and a request is send to uddi.org where it figures out which companies deals with selling clothes as per the data specified. Once it gets the information regarding the companies it sends a web service request to each of these companies web service server.
Each companies web service server responds with xml data describing the price for the clothes. Thus the purchase officer will get a list of prices from different vendors and he can get the best deal.
The above scenario looks good. But each module has to be researched to see whether its really does as promised without involving major financial and other resource constraints.
Imagine how the purchase officer would work without web service, he will have to go to each companies web site and manually figure out the prices. First of all he may not know that how many companies are ready to sell, secondly he may not visit all the websites and even if he visits he may not get what he want and many such issues. OR he will have to go to a B2B online market place to figure it out.
Companies would like to provide web services because that’s one another way of marketing their stuff. Because companies which use web site as a marketing plus purchasing place, will definitely like to install web services as it allows users or business’s to interact with them via programs rather than manually
And if once any company installs a web service, there will be a mad rush from its competitors to do the same.
It would be like the net boom where every company rushed to build its website. And the future company server will have a normal http web server for manual interaction plus web services for program interaction.
But the boom will depend on many factors , the net boom happened because computer penetration increased drastically and also it became easier and cheap to access the internet.
Web services boom will happen if there are not many roadblocks in the following three areas:
1) web service client
2) uddi.org registration and information access.
3) Web service providers.
Another restraining factor that looms large is security, not every web service data should be exposed to every one and there should be some authentication before access.
If you look from a single user perspective how will web services help me, this would be like a user has many needs such as his income is in the bank, he need to rent or buy a house, buy a car, car insurance, buy groceries, buy clothes.
Lets say there’s a webservices portal(something like hotmail, yahoo which are free for users) where users can login and fillup forms belonging to each of the categories ( For eg in the bank form he can specify his bank name, in the house form he can specify what type and price of house he is looking for, etc) and whenever he triggers these forms, a request is made to the corresponding web services and information is retrieved. For eg: if he submits the bank forms the request goes to uddi.org and locates the web service address of the bank, contacts it and retrieves information regarding the latest interest rates provided by the bank.
And the information retrieved will be specific depending on the parameters filled in the form rather than getting a whole lot of stuff when one browses through a web page.
The microsoft .net my services seems to works differently, it appears that it considers its hotmail user base as a service and exposes it to business.
Implementing a web service client interacting across various domains would probably involve extensive work and it seems that it would be better handled by webservices portals rather than individual organizations.
Michael Finney
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Joined: Jan 25, 1999
Posts: 508
Where did you get that?
Roger Nelson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 21, 2002
Posts: 95
not sure about source received via email
Roger Nelson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 21, 2002
Posts: 95
One of the major issues with web services would be keeping the web service client and web service server in sync.
Modification to the web services server interfaces should not break the web service client.
The above issue is similar to what we encounter while working with thick client where there is a gap between client and server.
Thin clients appears to address this issue well.
web service clients would be thick clients with a wide gap between client and server, but if there are solutions to identify changes at the web server and accordingly update the web service client without any developer working on the client then it will make a great difference.
The link below describes issue with web services.
http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2002/02/06/webservices.html
William Brogden
Author and all-around good cowpoke
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Joined: Mar 22, 2000
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Determining that the client and server are not in sync would be accomplished by looking at the WSDL that describes the service.
Bill
Roger Nelson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 21, 2002
Posts: 95
yes wsdl will help the client in figuring out changes at web service server end.
Lets take a scenario where web service client request the current time from web service server.
And receives the data in "MM/DD/YY HR:MIN:SEC" format.
Later on web service makes a change in time format to "Month Date, Year HR"MIN:SEC" format.
Though client may recognize a change in version from the wdsl, it may not be feasible for the client to update itself instantaneously or synchronously with the server change.
If the new time format replaces the old format , the client may crash because it expects the earlier format.
But if the format is an addition and both the time formats are available then it wont affect the client and client may update later on to make use of the new format.
I presume the web services framework may have some support to take care of such issues.
Kyle Brown
author
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Joined: Aug 10, 2001
Posts: 3892
    
    5
Roger N, we have a naming policy here at the JavaRanch. Please read the policy and reregister using your first name, space, last name.
Kyle
[ February 22, 2002: Message edited by: Kyle Brown ]

Kyle Brown, Author of Persistence in the Enterprise and Enterprise Java Programming with IBM Websphere, 2nd Edition
See my homepage at http://www.kyle-brown.com/ for other WebSphere information.
Kyle Brown
author
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Joined: Aug 10, 2001
Posts: 3892
    
    5
And on the subject;
IBM doesn't do "Fads". We're betting the farm on Web Services. We've only done that once before in IBM's Software Group in the last 10 years, and that was on Java. That one turned out to be a pretty good bet...
Kyle
P.S. And yes, there was that whole OS/2 business, but we're trying to forget that one
Joe Pardi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 03, 2001
Posts: 47
Kyle,
Good point regarding IBM's leadership on Web Services. From what I've read, they've certainly stepped up to the plate on this one. My company (one of the major credit card companies), has recently chosen WebSphere for our application server and it was a good decision given the Web Services capabilities it currently has.
In my personal opinion, browser-based applications will be history very soon. We will witness the return of the thick client. We will be writing applications as thick GUI's that use Web Services to call business services deployed on a variety of servers. The only thing the industry needs is a solid automated software delivery mechanism to solve the application installation and upgrade issue. A company called Kenamea has a solution but we need one of the big vendors to do the same.
And oh, by the way, I programmed for 5 years in C on OS/2 Warp and it was a very stable operating system. Interesting how it took MS almost 7 years (Windows 2000) to catch up with OS/2 with respect to stability.
Michael Finney
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 25, 1999
Posts: 508
Java Web Start from Sun would be the solution. Correct?
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: SOAP and WebServices is a fad?