David Stodder, editor of Intelligent Enterprise, offers an interesting (and much appreciated on my part) spin on what Web services is all about. While acknowledging that SOA represents an important leap in the integration world, he takes it further to put emphasis on the new "knowledge products" that are now being created.
Citing Peter Drucker's point that knowledge is the essential economic resource of this era, he makes a connection to the SOA and Web services movement.To business executives and strategists, Web services"package up everything an organization knows about a process in a manner that is easiest for consumers (including software applications) to interpret and deploy for their own purposes."
That suggests we are entering "a new phase" in the evolution of Web services. "The first stage, dominated by geek speak and crash-test prototypes, is coming to a close," contends Stodder. "Web services are airborne; it's now safe for business strategists to 'move about the cabin' and guide this new infrastructure toward competitive advantage. The coalescing of SOA with business process management (BPM)...is about much more than technology. Organizations are arriving at a clearer idea of how they can deploy Web services to gain agility and improve processes within the enterprise and out into their communities of partners and customers."