Resurrecting the VAN: The Web Services Network
Both software vendors and enterprise end-users have always looked to make business-to-business interactions automated, reliable, and secure. While many companies currently seek a set of products and specifications that improve B2B interactions, many large firms will tell you that they’ve been accomplishing the goals of reliable, secure, guaranteed interaction between companies for decades, in the form of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). However, it’s not EDI’s technology (which today is both arcane and obsolete), but rather its infrastructure that’s given it such longevity. We’re talking about the Value-Added Network (VAN) here — a set of capabilities offered by third-party network providers to guarantee the required level of interaction between any two participants on the network. A Third-Party “Network” for Web Services In the 1980s, companies found that their primary challenge in trying to automate their business connections was managing point-to-point electronic relationships with dozens or even hundreds of suppliers.

Read More

Service Orientation Market Trends
Key Points: ZapThink sees a consolidation of most SO functionality into a single market category that can be delivered as individual products, product suites, or service offerings that contain broad functionality, including features that are currently associated with the security, management, process, integration, and tools segments. We call that market the SOA Implementation Framework market. The total SOA Implementation Framework market opportunity will go from $4.4 billion in 2005 to $43 billion by 2010. The big winners from the shift to Service Orientation will be large vendors who are able to leverage the innovation of the smaller players to build fully functional SOA Implementation Frameworks. New entrants will find opportunity in adding value to these large vendors’ products, or by finding opportunity in the gaps between their solutions.   Table of Contents: I. Report Scope II. Context: The Shift to Service Orientation 2.1. The shift to Service Orientation affects all…

Read More

A Guide to Securing XML and Web Services
The quantity of XML crossing the enterprise network is dramatically increasing as the range and depth of uses that companies find for XML grows. This torrent of XML traffic offers substantial business value to enterprises, but it also offers a new set of risks. Companies are using Web Services today to facilitate integration with their most important systems, but XML, the heart of Web Services, is by its nature an open, human-readable format, and as a result offers little in the way of inherent security. It is critically important, therefore, for companies to secure their XML and Web Services traffic before they experience serious compromises to their enterprise IT security. The existing traditional security infrastructure is inadequate to satisfy the security needs that XML and Web Services present. Companies must optimize their security infrastructure with centralized XML and Web Services security policy definition and control. Organizations must also focus…

Read More

Is the Window of Opportunity Closing for Service Orientation Vendors?
Speaking of the ever-changing nature of reality, the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus famously said, “you can never step into the same river twice.” He could very well have been talking about the Web Services (WS) and Service Orientation (SO) market. At this point in time, this market is exceptionally dynamic, as several technology and business forces buffet the players. ZapThink’s new report, Service Orientation Market Trends, analyzes these forces, and lays out some bold predictions for the IT industry for the years to come. This ZapFlash is an excerpt of that report. Web Services, of course, are standards-based interfaces to software functionality. Service Orientation is an approach to distributed computing where software functionality is available as discoverable Services on the network. It’s important to realize that Web Services by themselves do not form a product category in their own right, because they are interfaces to something else, rather…

Read More

Retiring the Four-Platform Framework for Web Services
As an analyst firm, ZapThink sees many presentations from vendors and end users, and as a result we have seen a recurring vision for Web Services that has outlived its questionable usefulness at representing how the market is implementing and producing products for real-world Web Services and SOA solutions — namely Gartner’s Four-Platform Framework of Web Services. While the framework has helped many companies get started with their understanding of Web Services, we believe it’s time to move on. Fundamentally, the way in which the Four-Platform Framework is represented by vendors and end-users is inaccurate, incomplete, and in the final analysis, no longer helpful for either end-users or vendors as they struggle to grasp Web Services or Service-Oriented Architectures (SOAs). In its place, ZapThink offers the SOA Implementation Framework, which we feel more accurately reflects the challenges companies face as they seek to implement SOAs, and the products vendors must…

Read More

Context & Identity
Enterprise identity and access management capabilities are a fundamental prerequisite for the implementation of mission-critical Web Services, because such Services provide a layer of abstraction that hides the complexity of underlying technology while at the same time providing increased value to the business user of those Web Services. Such an abstraction layer, however, can lead to the loss of security context, where the information about the identity and access privileges of a requester of a particular Service may be lost to the underlying applications that provide the data and functionality being requested. Identity-based Web Services security solutions like Netegrity TransactionMinder restore and maintain this security context as an extension of their policy-based approach to enterprise identity management. By supporting the new Web Services security standards like SAML and WS-Security, TransactionMinder can provide the necessary identity management infrastructure for Web Services conversations that extend beyond the enterprise to users at business…

Read More

ZapThinkTank 2003: Web Services and SOA Implementation Roadmap
Financial services and insurance firms today are struggling with the best way to implement IT infrastructures that enable business agility. Service-oriented architectures based on Web Services provide cost-effective approaches to achieving companies’ agility goals. This session provides companies of all sizes and industries an approach to implementing Service-oriented architectures in a way that provides return-on-investment (ROI) at each step along the path toward agile IT infrastructures. We will discuss the steps and phases by which these companies can move from today’s brittle infrastructures to loosely-coupled, coarse-grained, asynchronous SOAs. The session covers concepts in point-to-point Web Services implementations for integration, securing, managing, and adding process layers to these services, implementing registries and management for loose coupling, moving to asynchronous invocations for greater reliability, and concepts in virtualization, grid computing, and more. We’ll provide the big picture for SOA adoption as well as the details on how to actually go about…

Read More

ZapThinkTank 2003: Web Services and SOA Drill-down for Financial Services and Insurance
In the second seminar we’ll focus on real implementation details, examples, and advice for financial services and insurance companies looking to get started with their SOA initiatives. We’ll talk about the network infrastructure, legacy enablement, and moving beyond simple applications of Web Services to getting started with SOA pilot projects. We’ll also cover working with professional services firms, including how to select one that can meet your needs, how to specify your requirements, and what to look for when selecting a consultant. Key roadblocks and challenges you will face in implementing Web Services and SOA projects, and ways to surmount those challenges. How to build acceptance for an SOA pilot project How to assemble an SOA project team How to build successful SOA projects by implementing key emerging best practices and techniques. How to select a consulting partner for your SOA initiative What are the critical components of SOA infrastructure…

Read More

XML, Web Services & Service-Oriented Architectures Competitive Landscape
This interactive session will explore the emerging XML, Web Services and Service-Oriented Architecture markets and help attendees understand how various vendors are positioning their products and services. Starting first with definitions of the Web Services and SOA markets, the instructors will discuss a roadmap to SOA adoption that can guide an enterprise through its XML, Web Services, and SOA projects. Attendees will learn which current business requirements are addressed by Web Services and SOA solutions, what products are on the market today that can help you with your Web Services and SOA initiatives and what steps should be taken by a company to build an SOA. Key Issues: Exploration of the different market segments for Web Services and Service-Oriented Architectures The roadmap for Web Services and SOA adoption Key vendor solutions for each Web Services and…

Read More