Web Services' Idées Fortes
Many people ask us at ZapThink what’s really so special about Web Services. We’re the first to admit that Web Services are more evolutionary than revolutionary, building upon earlier Service-oriented technologies and approaches to distributed computing. Sure, Web Services are standards-based, using XML and XML-based protocols like SOAP to act as a common basis for communication across different vendor implementations. But open standards are really only the price of admission. The true power of Web Services lies in three related powerful ideas (idées fortes) that in combination describe how Web Services will change the fundamental nature of distributed computing. Idée Forte #1: Asynchrony Communications between distributed systems fall into two basic categories: synchronous and asynchronous. Synchronous communications consist of round-trip messages in which the sender waits for a reply. Submitting a Web page form and waiting for a confirmation page is a familiar example of a…

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Model First, Service-Enable Next
Reducing the cost of IT management is one of the primary pressures for most organizations. One of the most common ways to reduce such costs is to enable the reuse of applications that developers have already created and configured for the enterprise. In the past decade, especially in the past 3-5 years, companies have spent millions of dollars on enterprise software applications of all sorts: CRM, ERP, and other operational applications. The next few years will be less about new application development, and more about existing application integration and reuse. The Service-oriented approach helps solve the challenge of reuse by imposing a design methodology that promotes the use of self-describing, published, loosely coupled, and dynamically bound components rather than static, tightly-coupled components. Reuse becomes a matter of publishing available Web Services and developing the Services themselves to make sure they are not inadvertently tightly coupled. However, many companies…

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SOA Tools & Best Practices
From its inception through 2002, the primary application for Web Services in the enterprise was to simplify point-to-point integration between systems, thereby reducing the cost of integration. This application of Web Services, however, only scratches the surface of the true potential of Web Services — enabling companies to build agile business processes and IT systems that can respond to change through the use of loosely coupled, standards-based Service-oriented architectures. The business value of such architectures in terms of the business agility they provide is substantial, but as of early 2003, only a few early adopter enterprises have built such architectures, partly because few tools for building Service-oriented architectures are available on the market, and furthermore, there is little understanding of the best practices companies should follow to build such architectures. This report seeks to clarify the requirements for realizing the value of Web Services by providing a set of emerging…

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The Pros and Cons of Web Services
List of Arguments Pro: Web Services are standards-based. Pro: Web Services’ loose coupling leads to increased modularity and flexibility in complex, distributed IT environments. Pro: Since Web Services are dynamically described, they will lead to systems that can be upgraded automatically. Pro: Web Services reduces integration costs. Pro: Web Services simplify Business to Business Integration (B2Bi). Pro: Web Services enable new business models. Pro: Web Services leverage existing technology and skill sets. Pro: Web Services enable less technical business people to “assemble” software solutions without the need for coding. Pro: The Business Climate is Favorable to Web Services. Con: Web Services are immature. Con: Some vendor solutions are single-vendor approaches which conflict with the open standards-based vision of Web Services. Con: It is unclear where the money will be made in offering Web Services. Con: The name “Web…

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Service-Oriented Development
Key Findings: ZapThink finds that up to 75% of the expense in many large-scale software projects can be spent on simply integrating new systems with old. In many cases, new technologies are applied in the same, familiar patterns as old technologies, even though the new technologies may represent completely new advantages and alternatives The principles of SODA provide the guidelines understanding the capabilities of Web Services tools, as well as the big picture of what can be built with them. The Seven principles of SODA are explained in this Insight. SOABestPractices-022003-ZTF-WS116-1…

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Web Services Technologies & Trends
From its inception through 2002, the primary application for Web Services in the enterprise was to simplify point-to-point integration between systems, thereby reducing the cost of integration. This application of Web Services, however, only scratches the surface of the true potential of Web Services — enabling companies to build agile business processes and IT systems that can respond to change through the use of loosely coupled, standards-based Service-oriented architectures. The business value of such architectures in terms of the business agility they provide is substantial, but as of early 2003, only a few early adopter enterprises have built such architectures, partly because few tools for building Service-oriented architectures are available on the market, and furthermore, there is little understanding of the best practices companies should follow to build such architectures. This report seeks to clarify the requirements for realizing the value of Web Services by providing a set of emerging…

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Web Services Technologies and Trends
Key Findings: The Web Services market is segmented into three major segments: Web Services Platforms consisting of a Web Services Development Environment and Web Services Runtime Environment Web Service Application Development Suites Web Services Operations Management 75% of surveyed companies stated that their planned Web Service deployments will be internally-focused 64% of surveyed companies stated that Enterprise and Data Integration was the primary focus of their Web Service implementations 61% of surveyed companies plan a pilot test of Web Service-based applications within the next 12 months 58% of current Web Services pilots are being deployed on the Java2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) infrastructure Table of Contents: Executive Summary Scope of Report Web Services — Baseline Definitions Problems addressed by Web Services and ROI Current State of the Market of Web Services Market Sizing, Numbers, and Stats Pieces of the Puzzle: Standards and Specifications SOAP Implementations Portability and Interoperability Issues and Challenges…

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The Pros and Cons of XML
Table of Contents: Introduction Basis for Comparison Brief History of XML Pro Arguments with Counterpoints Con Arguments with Counterpoints Conclusion Appendix A: What is XML? Key Findings: There are 18 key arguments favoring XML There are 9 key arguments challenging XML Does XML represent a revolutionary technology change or is it basically the same old thing in new packaging? There are compelling reasons for XML’s longevity, but are matched by equally compelling challenges to its adoption and usage. There is an element of “religiousness” to various arguments on the pro and con side of XML. Ignore the hype and let your business needs determine your usage of XML Ignore the naysayers and evaluate how XML can truly impact your needs for the better WSTechnologiesTrends-122001-ZT-WEBSRV-1…

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