It seems that with the weak climate for IT spending the "launch" of web services is slow to take off. I am a consultant and we are starting to slowly see them emerge here and there as useful tools in certain situations, but definitely not the "killer internet app" that everoyne was expecting.
I would very much like to know what our guest speakers think about the future of web services within the short term (3 year timespan)?
I have no idea where Web services will be in 3 years and I don't think anyone could answer this question today. 3 years is more like an eternity in computer time...I could probably tell you what web services are trying to achieve today and in the next couple of months.
I do agree with you that we are seeing more and more projects using web services technologies. It's not a question of inventing a technology that will allow you to build a "killer app" but simply a technology/solution that is based on open industry standards. Why is this important?
Web services technologies will provide many different business opportunities for companies, since companies will be able to communicate with other companies (B2B) independent of their platforms and business implementations.
One area that can be addressed today is in the integration space where we have millions of applications running on different platforms written in different languages that could potentially leverge each other to perform business operations. There are alot of issues assocuiated with such collaboration but the idea is to have technologies that are independent of the vendors specific implementation. So for example, Company A (using Java) can invoke services provided by Company B (using .NET) by using SOAP RPC.
There are lots of initiatives that are going on today and have evolved significantly over the last couple of months. There were many holes that basic WUST (WSDL UDDI SOAP technologies) do not address such as security, transactions, etc ... which are currently being addressed by other standards. These missing gaps likely influence the wide use of web services.
I think it is an evolving area that will only get better. Of course, this is not a silver bullet. It does not solve all problems. In fact, one should be very careful when choosing any technology. It reminds me of the misuse of XML. I think we could all identify one instance of such occurance, where people used XML because it was the cool thing.
In result, it caused many performance issues.
I love XML and I think it is a technology that has facilitated many things.
hope this helps,