The InfoWorld test center has been playing with a new class of middleware designed to manage and monitor Web services. Known as Web services intermediaries (WSIs), these vendor solutions incorporate a host of features into their platforms includingmessage routing, security, exception handling, abstraction, message transformation, and logging.
Service technology -- from SOA to cloud to IT service management -- promises many "-ilities": greater agility, flexibility, and reusability. Joe McKendrick explores the challenges and opportunities with service orientation, and how to capitalize on these emerging computing philosophies.
Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant and speaker specializing in trends and developments shaping the technology industry.
There's been quite a bit of confusion around all the Web servicesdefinitions and acronyms that are floating around. Everyone has their own definition.
Not everyone agrees that service-oriented IT isenablinga clear and swift shift from vertical to horizontal value creation. BTL's Dan Farber contends that "we are entering a phase in which a few companies will rule enterprise computing, each with a suite of pre-integrated functionality that promises to dramatically reduce integration and administration costs.
As we have discussed in previous entries, the Web services movement lays the foundation for an economic shift from verticaltohorizontal on a vast and dramatic scale. So it was interesting to hear HP CEO Carly Fiorina's recent take on this topic at theOracleWorld conference.
Lately, there's been a lot of heat generated in the blogosphere about the convoluted way many Web services standards have been coming together, which some snidely refer to as "WS-Complexity." The problem, according to many, is that many of these standards have historically come from the "Men in Black" (MIB -- Microsoft, IBM, BEA Systems).
Well, the week may have started with the announcement that Oracle would acquire PeopleSoft. However, Tim O'Reilly, founder and president of O'Reilly & Associates, has provocatively stated that "eBay will someday buy Oracle.
Real-life, large-scale working examples of Web services/SOA are few and far between, so I was pleased to have the opportunity to chat with Jerry Hilt, systems analyst with Con-Way Transportation, a $2 billion distribution services company (you can see their trucks on most main highways across North America). Con-Way has been evolving an SOA infrastructure for several years now, enabling its seven separate business units to share standardized customer-facing applications.
For you standards aficionados out there -- and you know who you are -- there's another spec now out for public review. The OASIS Technical Committee that oversees development of the Web Services Distributed Management, or WSDM (pronounced "Wisdom") specification, will be accepting comments through January 10, 2005.
In a recent post, Avanade's Steve Maine parses a presentation by Microsoft's Don Box, and does a great job of explaining the essential core elements of a Web service, which he calls the Web service "kernel." The kernel in an operating system consists of the important stuff you dont need to know too much about, as Maine puts it.
In my previous post, I observed that disruptive Web services standardization will create many consolidations and mergers within the IT industry. Simultaneously, new markets are also springing up.