As Joenoted in a previous post, one of the most significant challenges hampering theadvance of Web Services today is the opaque and abstruseway we speakof it.We are still very focused on tech talk and standards concerns; we have yet to really paint a vision that will grab the attention of business decision-makers and influencers.
That's why stories, examples and metaphors are so important to this emerging movement.Ijust found one metaphor in the EconomistMagazine.It was in a recent feature on the wider movement toward IT simplicity. The piece notes that Webservices represent one of the most important near-term trendsthat can be expected to eliminate -- or, at least, radically reduce -- complexity.
TheEconomist's playful metaphor: Lego blocks. "These little Danish plastic toy bricks come in different colors, shapes and sizes, but all Lego blocks have the same standardized studs and corresponding holes that allow them to be assembled, taken apart and reassembledin all sorts of creative ways," the publication explains. "The magic of Web services, in effect, is to turn almost any fiddly piece in any chaotic datacenter into a lego block, so thatit can snugly fit together with all the other fiddly bits. Thus, the datacenters that consist of decades of legacy systems and lots of incompatible machines can now be snapped together and apart, Lego by Lego."
This level of simplified, standardized, interoperability is a particular boon to business-to-business computing and addresses weaknesses of the recent past."The whole B2B boom died for one simple reason: nobody could get their damn systems to talk together," noted Halsey Minor, founder of Grand Central Communications, in the same article. But all that is changing, as he sees it. Now, we can build a vast and extraordinary Lego kingdom.